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Full text of "Letters, hitherto unpublished, written by members of Sir Walter Scott's family to their old governess"

7~W 



National Library of Scotland 
'B000451 236* 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

National Library of Scotland 



http://www.archive.org/details/lettershithertouOOwrig 



LETTERS FROM MEMBERS OF 
SIR WALTER SCOTT'S FAMILY 



LETTERS 

HITHERTO UNPUBLISHED, WRITTEN 
BY MEMBERS OF SIR WALTER SCOTTS 
FAMILY TO THEIR OLD GOVERNESS 

Edited, with an Introduction and Notes, by 

THE WARDEN OF WADHAM COLLEGE 
OXFORD 



1 



■ ' . - ■ •/ . 



' v-v 







LONDON 
E. GRANT RICHARDS 

7 CARLTON STREET, S.W. 
1905 







Edinburgh : T. and A. Constable, Printers to His Majesty 



INTRODUCTION 

The letters which follow were written to 
Miss Millar, who was the governess of Sir 
Walter Scott's daughters for several years 
before 1817. She was treated by all the 
members of the family with unvarying 
courtesy and kindness, and became their 
friend. The correspondence extended, as 
these letters show, over more than twenty 
years— from 1814 to 1837. Miss Millar 
at her death in 1860 left the letters to 
my aunt, in whose grandfather's family 
she had been governess and a valued 
friend. On my aunt's death the letters 
came into my hands. By the kind per- 
mission of Mr. David Chrystal, to whom 
they now belong, I am enabled to publish 
them. Miss Millar had parted with all 
but one of the letters written to her by 
Sir Walter Scott. There is nothing else 
of his in this small collection, save a paper 

A 



2 SCOTT LETTERS 

of instructions to his daughter Sophia, 
written probably in 1810 or 1811, when 
she was beginning to learn history. 

The letters are, most of them, about what 
might be called trivial matters, but they 
are bright and humorous, and go to justify 
the saying that women, old or young, 
excel men in letter- writing — excel them 
in simplicity; in making much of little 
things ; in freedom from literary airs and 
graces ; in good nature, on the whole ; 
in cheerfulness and other good qualities ; 
though not in pedantic accuracy as regards 
grammar and spelling, of which our grand- 
mothers and great -grandmothers made 
light. 

There are other letters of a different 
kind written in times of trial, when em- 
barrassments, failing health, and bereave- 
ment visited Abbotsford ; letters which 
show the resolute endurance in trouble 
which is the noblest form of courage, 
that greatest of the virtues, and parent of 
them all. 

The value of the collection consists in 



INTRODUCTION 3 

its showing that a man of genius can be 
a good father of a family. There is no 
contradiction in adjecto between genius 
and duty, or even respectability, but in 
many quarters there lingers the mis- 
chievous superstition that a great man is 
above duty, especially the simple duties 
of a home. With a little ingenuity, how- 
ever, the Ueber-Mensch might be shown to 
be as ridiculous as the ' good family man ' ; 
less useful, and even more odious ; an ideal 
neither realisable, nor worth realising. The 
letters give a charming picture of an 
affectionate and happy circle. They con- 
firm the account given by Lockhart of 
the relations between Sir Walter and his 
children, and of his theory and practice in 
the matter of their education. 

' No father ever devoted more time and 
tender care to his offspring than he did to 
each of his, as they successively reached 
the age when they could listen to him, 
and understand his talk. Like their mute 
playmates, Camp and the greyhounds, they 
had at all times free access to his study. 



4 SCOTT LETTERS 

He never considered their tattle as any dis- 
turbance ; he was always ready to answer 
their questions, and when they, uncon- 
scious how he was engaged, entreated him 
to lay down his pen and tell them a story, 
he would take them on his knee, repeat 
a ballad or a legend, kiss them, and set 
them down again to their marbles or nine- 
pins, and resume his labour, as if refreshed 
by the interruption. He considered it as 
the highest duty as well as the sweetest 
pleasure of a parent to be the companion 
of his children.' 

Scott's views on education are very plain 
and practical, and much below the modern 
standard, or above it. His sons he sent 
to his own old school — the famous High 
School of Edinburgh — to learn perhaps, 
among other things, how to bear them- 
selves bravely as he had done in desper- 
ate ' bickers,' if bickers then there were. 

In regard to his daughters, ' he had a 
horror of boarding-schools ; never allowed 
his girls to learn anything out of his own 
house, and chose their governess, Miss 



INTRODUCTION 5 

Millar, who about this time (1808) was 
domesticated with them, and never left 
them while they needed one, with a far 
greater regard to her kind good temper, 
and excellent moral and religious principles, 
than to the measure of her attainments in 
what are called fashionable accomplish- 
ments. Though he regretted the irregu- 
larity of his own education, he never 
showed much concern about regulating 
systematically what is usually called educa- 
tion in the case of his own children. It 
seemed, on the contrary, as if he attached 
little importance to anything else, so he 
could perceive that the young curiosity 
was excited, the intellect, by whatever 
springs of interest, was set in motion. He 
detested and despised the whole generation 
of modern children's books, in which the 
attempt is made to convey accurate notions 
of scientific minutise ; delighting cordially, 
on the other hand, in those of the preceding 
age, which, addressing themselves chiefly 
to the imagination, obtain through it, as 
he believed, the best chance of stirring our 



6 SCOTT LETTERS 

graver faculties also. He exercised the 
memory by selecting for tasks of recita- 
tion passages of popular verse the most 
likely to catch the fancy of the children, 
and gradually familiarised them with the 
ancient history of their own country by 
arresting attention in the course of his own 
oral narrations on incidents and characters 
of a similar description. His Sunday talk 
was just such a series of biblical lessons 
as that which we have preserved for the 
permanent use of rising generations in the 
Tales of a Grandfather on the early history 
of Scotland. He had his Bible, the Old 
Testament especially, by heart, and on 
these days inwove the simple pathos, or 
sublime enthusiasm of Scripture, in what- 
ever story he was telling, with the same 
picturesque richness as he did in his week- 
day tales, the quaint Scotch of Pitscottie, 
or some rude romantic old rhyme from 
Barbour's Bruce or Blind Harry's Wallace. 
By many external accomplishments, either 
in girl or boy, he set little store. He 
delighted to hear his daughters sing an old 



INTRODUCTION 7 

ditty, or one of his own framing; but so 
the singer appeared to feel the spirit of 
her ballad, he was not at all critical of the 
technical execution. There was one thing, 
however, on which he fixed his heart hardly 
less than the ancient Persians of the Cyro- 
pcedia ; like them, next to love of truth, he 
held love of horsemanship for the prime 
point of education. As soon as his eldest 
girl could sit a pony, she was made the 
regular attendant of his mountain rides ; 
and they all, as they attained sufficient 
strength, had the like advancement. He 
taught them to think nothing of tumbles, 
and habituated them to his own reck- 
less delight in perilous fords and flooded 
streams ; and they all imbibed in great 
perfection his passion for horses — as well, 
I may venture to add, as his deep rever- 
ence for the more important article of that 
Persian training. " Without courage," he 
said, " there cannot be truth, and without 
truth there can be no other virtue." ' l 

1 Vol. ii., pp. 26-28, chap. xvii. 

Note. — My references are to Mr. Pollard's edition of the 



8 SCOTT LETTERS 

Such is Lockhart's account of Scott's 
theory and practice in regard to the educa- 
tion of his children. They must have been 
very happy ; happier than John Stuart 
Mill, nearly their contemporary, who was 
receiving an education only too systema- 
tic and complete. They, the girls at 
least, could look back on their childhood 
and youth without shuddering at dismal 
memories of irregular French verbs, pain- 
fully learned and happily forgotten ; or of 
dreary hours wasted in efforts to acquire 
' execution ' on the pianoforte. 

They lived with their parents, and knew 
them as companions. Their education was 
a stimulating one, a training of body and 
mind; of all their mental faculties, not 
merely of their memories. Do we, who 
think or talk more about education than 
did our forefathers, know better than they 

Life, in five volumes, in Messrs. Macmillan's 'Library of 
English Classics ' ; but for the benefit of those who possess 
only the older editions, I have added the numbers of the 
chapters, which are the same in all editions. The reference 
to chapters is of course somewhat vague, but I do not regret 
such vagueness, should it tempt or compel any one to hunt 
through a chapter for each quotation. 



INTRODUCTION 9 

how to bring up boys and girls ? It may 
be said, of course, that such an education 
demands, if it is to succeed, parents, chil- 
dren, and surroundings of an uncommon 
kind, and is an ideal impossible to realise. 
Yet certain excellences in it, whether 
attainable or not, are indispensable. But 
the writer must refrain from pursuing the 
many reflections suggested here. He will 
content himself with expressing his wonder 
whether among the children's books which 
Scott detested were numbered the stories 
written by Mrs. Sherwood ? Did he include 
in his condemnation the Stories of Cawn- 
pore and the Fair child Family, or did he, 
as children do, love the story and hate, or 
ignore, the somewhat dreary moral lessons, 
such, for instance, as are appended to the 
tales of the quarrel between Henry and 
his sisters, and of Emily's theft of dama- 
scenes ? For Miss Edgeworth's genius he 
had the highest admiration. ' He avowed x 
that he should never in all likelihood have 
thought of a Scotch novel had he not 

1 Vol. ii., pp. 486-7, chap, xxxiii. 



10 SCOTT LETTERS 

read Maria Edgeworth's exquisite pieces of 
Irish character. " There is a richness and 
naivete" he is reported to have said — and 
here Scotchmen will protest — "in Irish 
character and humour, in which the Scotch 
are certainly defective." He therefore read 
with much delight, and made his children 
read, Rosamond and the Purple Jar and 
Simple Susan ; even, perhaps, the conversa- 
tions on scientific subjects between Harry 
and Lucy and their father, though in the 
character and teaching of that amazing 
parent Scott found much room for criti- 
cism. 1 Was Sandford and Merton read at 
Ashestiel and Abbotsford ? and, if it was, 
what did they think of Mr. Barlow ? One 
chapter in that curious book Scott, and 
perhaps his children, must have much 
enjoyed : that in which is told the story 
of the fight between young Nash and 
Sandford, who showed himself to be a 
' human boy ' for once ; cool and resolute, 
like Dobbin in the great fight with Cuff. 
This lapse into barbarism redeems much 

1 Vol. iv., p. 314j chap, lxiii. ; and vol. v., p. 380, chap, lxxxi. 



INTRODUCTION 11 

in Day and his impossible hero, and miti- 
gates the superiority of these too superior 
persons. 

Of Miss Millar the writer has an indis- 
tinct remembrance. He was taken to see 
her several times when she lived in Edin- 
burgh. She was a benevolent old lady, 
simple and kindly, fond of young people, 
somewhat didactic, more accustomed pro- 
bably to talk to girls than to boys, who, 
being non-moral and unimpressionable to 
the verge of cynicism, are not easily moved 
by conversation meant to improve them ; 
though they will bear much from a hostess 
mindful of their creature comforts, who 
presses them to eat in the hospitable, 
though sometimes embarrassing, fashion of 
fifty years ago. Miss Millar was a comely 
old lady with large bright brown eyes, now 
to the writer suggestive of that shrewdness 
and humour which win young people. She 
could not have been a stupid person to 
whom her pupils wrote playful as well as 
affectionate letters. She was devoted to 
Sir Walter Scott, and a little afraid, surely 



12 SCOTT LETTERS 

needlessly, of the great man. One story 
— a true one — used to be told by her, 
illustrative of this timorous affection. She 
had long wished to have a lock of his 
hair, but dared not ask for it. She obtained 
it by an innocent stratagem, and the con- 
nivance of the barber who came to Ashes- 
tiel or Abbotsford to cut Sir Walter's 
hair when Lady Scott was not able to 
perform that office. After the operation 
was over, and Scott had left the room, 
Miss Millar entered it and stole — was it a 
theft ? — some of the hair which lay on the 
carpet. ' A bird ' — probably the barber — 
' carried the matter. ' Sir Walter heard 
with much amusement of this second 
'Rape of the Lock.' He sent for Miss 
Millar and, to her confusion and delight, 
gave her a lock of his hair cut by him- 
self, which is now in the possession of 
the writer. 

After she left the Scott family she 
had varying fortunes, and suffered under 
pupils, boarders, and lodgers, comforted 
by never-failing kindness and sympathy 



INTRODUCTION 13 

from Abbotsford, and always cheerful and 
courageous. The last fifteen or twenty 
years of her life she spent in Edinburgh 
in fairly comfortable circumstances, visited 
by many friends, to whom she was always 
ready to speak of her experiences, especially 
of the happiest of them, those connected 
with Ashestiel and Abbotsford. She died, 
as far as the writer can recollect, in 1860, 
when she had probably passed her eightieth 
year. Sir Walter's appreciation of Miss 
Millar's worth is shown by the letter 
inserted here : it was written when the 
effort must have cost him much, for he 
was weak and in pain, slowly recovering 
from a serious illness. 

My Dear Miss Millar, — The recommendation 
you ask of me is an act of such very common justice 
that I would have sent it by return of post, had I 
not still felt some pain in stooping to write, although 
my general health is much improved. I can, with 
the utmost truth, bear witness to your kind and 
constant attention to the education of my family 
during a space of eight or nine years, when they 
acquired by your instructions, reading, writing, 
arithmetic, and the elementary parts of music, and 
of the French language. Mrs. Scott and I had 



14 SCOTT LETTERS 

the utmost reason to be satisfied, not only with 
your mode of teaching and the instructions which 
you conveyed to our children, but by your very 
ladylike and prudent conduct while we had the 
pleasure of having you for our inmate, a circum- 
stance which is at least of as much importance to 
the master and mistress of a family as the extent 
of knowledge and the facility of communicating it. 
In short, my dear Miss Millar, as I always con- 
sidered my children as fortunate in being under 
the charge of a person of your good sense and 
excellent principles, I shall always feel it a small 
discharge of the debt which I owe you if I can be 
of any service to you in your progress through 
life, and I beg you will freely have recourse to me. 
I will be happy to give more full explanations and 
details of your mode of teaching to any person who 
may wish to make further inquiries. I should have 
mentioned the elements of drawing and the usual 
kinds of needlework among the arts you had the 
goodness to teach my young folk. You will perhaps 
have observed that Walter is gazetted cornet in the 
XVIII. Hussars. It is so difficult to get into the 
army just now, that I reckon myself very lucky in 
the countenance of the Commander-in-Chief, who 
gave him a preference over many other applicants. 
He leaves us in about a fortnight to join the 
regiment at Cork. The girls are well, and great 
comforts to me in my broken and twilight state of 
health, so different from that which you remember 
my enjoying. But God's will be done. I have 



INTRODUCTION 15 

had my day of strength and health, having scarce 
known illness from 15 to 48. All here join in 
kindest love, and hope next season (if not this) you 
will manage to pay us a visit here. You would 
hardly know the place, and we have plenty of room, 
in which you know we used to be rather deficient. 
Believe me most truly, dear Miss Millar, your 
affectionate and obliged friend and servant, 

Walter Scott. 
Abbotsford, 8th July 1819. 

The letters explain themselves, and need 
little or no commentary. The allusions 
to persons, places, and events, can easily 
be understood by any lover of Scott who 
knows his Lockhart's Life, and will refresh 
his memory by reference to that book. 
The letters are some of them undated, 
and their date is a matter of inference from 
their contents. Some allusions could be 
intelligible only to those who possess an 
intimate knowledge of the family history. 
And here I wish to express my sense of 
the kindness of the Hon. Mrs. Maxwell 
Scott, Sir Walter's great-granddaughter, 
who has seen these letters, and given her 
approval of their publication. She has 



16 SCOTT LETTERS 

expressed her pleasure and interest in 
reading them, and has given me help, and 
promised more, in explaining things which 
without such help would have remained 
obscure. But she is in no degree respon- 
sible for errors or shortcomings due to 
haste or ignorance on the part of the 
writer, who neither admires, nor possesses, 
nor, if he possessed, would display the 
erudition which is apt to obscure a text 
with superfluous and distracting explana- 
tions. 

He might have added much from the 
Abbotsford Notanda of Mr. Robert Car- 
ruthers, which are appended to the short 
and useful memoir of Sir Walter Scott, 
written by Mr. Robert Chambers. Car- 
ruthers had access to the correspondence 
and other papers of William Laidlaw, one 
of Scott's most intimate friends." 

It is an easier and more profitable task 
than elaborate annotation to treat these 
letters as offering us glimpses, or more 
than glimpses, into the family life and 
characters of their writers. Of the forty- 



INTRODUCTION 17 

seven letters, twenty-eight were written 
by Charlotte Sophia Scott, born in 1799 ; 
twelve by Anne Scott, born in 1803. 
Washington Irving 1 describes the sisters 
as he saw them in 1817 when they were 
young girls ; Sir Walter's — 

' Imps, hardy, bold, and wild, 
As best befits the mountain child.' 2 

' As they approached, the dogs all sprang 
forward and gambolled around them. 
They joined us with countenances full 
of health and glee. Sophia, the eldest, 
was the most lively and joyous, having 
much of her father's varied spirit in con- 
versation, and seeming to catch excitement 
from his words and looks ; Anne was of a 
quieter mood, rather silent, owing in some 
measure, no doubt, to her being some years 
younger.' Anne was then between four- 
teen and fifteen, an age when girls, in the 
presence of strangers, do not speak much, 
but think the more : she was probably 

1 Vol. iii., p. 135-6, chap, xxxix. 

2 Marmion, Introduction to Canto I. 



18 SCOTT LETTERS 

' taking in ' Washington Irving, and dis- 
secting him with the sharp and ruthless 
wit of clever maidens of that by no means 
tender age. One may remark in passing 
that Irving's ' appreciation ' of Scott is one 
of the most genial and penetrating which 
we have on record. 

The two sisters resembled each other 
in many respects : both were bright and 
humorous girls, full of the high spirits of 
youth, devoted to their father, and proud 
of him ; comforts to him ' in sorrow, need, 
sickness, or any other adversity.' Yet it is 
possible to perceive, or imagine, differences 
between them. The elder of the two, called 
in the family Sophia to distinguish her from 
her mother, Charlotte Margaret Scott, is 
shown by her letters to have been thought- 
ful, steadfast, kindly, ' douce ' — to use the 
pretty Scotch term, which can no more 
be defined than can ' pawky ' be defined, 
that mysterious word which puzzles 
Southerners. She must have been, dur- 
ing the last years of her unmarried life, 
the leader of the family. To her fell the 



INTRODUCTION 19 

task, which in every family is tacitly 
assigned to the fittest, of writing of 
deaths and troubles, and all important 
matters. To Miss Millar, the poor old 
governess, who must have been some- 
times troublesome, she showed inexhaust- 
ible kindness and patience, as might have 
been expected from her father's daughter. 
Her gravity and commonsense were fre- 
quently illumined by flashes of fun and 
sarcasm. She, like Anne, had for her 
brothers, especially for Walter, that mix- 
ture of love, admiration, and contempt, 
which are the notes of genuine sisterly 
affection. In Letter v. she promises Miss 
Millar ' the felicity of seeing your elegant 
pupil Walter in his yeomanry dress, which 
I can assure you he is not a little vain of.' 
In Letter ix. she expresses her fear that 
the cornet gazetted to the 18th Light 
Hussars will ' die of pride and conceit 
before he joins one of the most dashing- 
regiments in the service.' She loves 
' dancing to the pipes every night in the 
new dining-room,' and (v. Letter iv.) she 



20 SCOTT LETTERS 

' only hopes she may get half as many 
beaux in Edinburgh as she has had in 
the country.' In letter No. vn. she shows 
her pride in the beauty of her sister, who 
'is grown up a handsome girl, and is much 
admired,' and who, happily, has her faults ; 
for she is a poor correspondent ; perhaps 
too fastidious about her writing and spell- 
ing, for ' the fair authoress ' has in her 
sister's sight been destroying ' three differ- 
ent epistles.' 

The other side of Sophia's character is 
shown in Letters xiii., xxv., and xxxiii. 
She writes to her governess about her 
engagement to Lockhart in simple and 
womanly words, on which comment would 
be worse than superfluous. When the 
financial disaster came in 1826, one that 
affected or seemed likely to affect not her 
father and brothers and sister only, but 
herself and her husband, she faced it with 
admirable courage and composure. 'Worse 
things,' she says, ' may happen to a family 
besides loss of fortune,' and adds, ' yet one 
cannot but feel sorrow to think that such 



INTRODUCTION 21 

a man should have to labour so hard after 
having done so much.' Stoicism is good, 
but tenderness is better. 

She died in May 1 837 ' after a long ill- 
ness.' as her husband writes, 'which she 
bore with all possible meekness and forti- 
tude : of all the race she most resembled 
her father in countenance, in temper, and 
in manners.' 

She left two children, one of whom 
married Mr. Hope-Scott, and was the 
mother of the Hon. Mrs. Maxwell-Scott, 
who with her children are the only surviv- 
ing representatives of the family which 
entered Abbotsford in 1812. 

Two days before his wife's death Lock- 
hart (v. Letter xlv.) wrote to Miss Millar, 
asking her to send him copies of ' Sophia's 
early letters, of which you speak so highly,' 
in addition to the ' very welcome transcripts 
of Sir Walter's letters to yourself which 
he had already received. The twenty-eight 
letters now published must have been the 
originals of some of the copies sent to 
Lockhart, and were used, no doubt, by 



22 SCOTT LETTERS 

him when he wrote the Life of Scott. 
Other letters probably, now lost, were 
written by Sophia to Miss Millar, for 
the correspondence, as given here, is 
broken by long intervals, and we may 
well believe that the 'affectionate pupil,' 
as she often signs herself, did not allow 
years to elapse without writing to a 
woman who had in a remarkable degree 
the power, which most good and simple 
people have, of winning the regard of 
persons superior to themselves in every 
respect except goodness. 

Anne Scott is described by her father 1 
as 'an honest downright good Scots lass, 
in whom I could only wish to correct a 
spirit of satire.' He blesses her for ' prac- 
tising Scots songs, which I take as a kind 
compliment to my own taste, as hers leads 
her chiefly to foreign music' The good girl 
saw that her father ' wanted and must miss 
her sister's peculiar talent in singing the 
airs of their native country, which always 
made the most pleasing impression on him.' 

1 Vol. iv., p. 374, chap. lxv. 



INTRODUCTION 23 

Lockhart in the Life, 1 writes of her as 
' a lively rattling girl of sixteen,' and tells 
the story of the ' egg,' and the reckless 
audacity of ' Lady Anne ' which made her 
father frown, and then laugh. 

The twelve letters published here confirm 
the impression given by these utterances of 
her father and of her brother-in-law to be. 
Anne was a ' good ' girl, and a merry one ; 
full of the mischief which makes goodness 
irresistible. In Letter xv. she gives play to 
her ' spirit of satire,' indicating her opinion 
that 'ladies intellectual' were not usually 
extremely likeable. Nor does she spare a 
certain Miss Ramsay, whom perhaps she 
thought her brother inclined to admire, 
and judged accordingly, as sisters often do. 
In Letter xviii., where her grammar is not 
irreproachable, she laughs at her brother 
Charles' ' ambition to be a man ' ; gibes 
at the "great Maria,' who, though an 
authoress, and given to talking more 
than listening, won the liking of her young 
critic; and concludes with some cynical 

1 Vol. iii., p. 230, chap, xliii. 



24 SCOTT LETTERS 

remarks about long engagements, wonder- 
ing why one of the 'old Miss Fraser 
Tytlers ' and her fiance — he especially — 
did not ' change their minds.' In Letters 
xx. and xxn. she seems to rejoice in the 
perversion of Agnes Hume, who is 'no 
longer holy, nor very good, but dresses in 
white satin and goes to balls.' But her 
malice is the malice only of a good-natured 
and happy girl. 

Alas ! her unclouded happiness was not 
of long duration. At the age of twenty-one 
(v. Letter xix.) she seems to have shown 
the first symptoms of the delicacy and weak 
health which did not subdue her gaiety. 
Her letters (Nos. xx. and xxu.) are full of 
the elasticity which she inherited from her 
father. Equally bright is the letter (No. 
xxiv.) in which she describes her tour in 
Ireland with her father in the autumn of 
1825. They had a happy time in that 
' distressful ' country, where distress takes 
many pleasant forms, and which is full of 
humour and pathos, of memories of un- 
successful heroism and wild adventure ; 



INTRODUCTION 25 

material out of which Sir Walter, had fate 
permitted, would surely have made an 
Irish Waver ley or Rob Roy. 1825 was 
the last year of nearly perfect happi- 
ness for the Scott family. In 1826 came 
two great calamities ; the death of Lady 
Scott, the first gap made by death in the 
family circle ; and desperate embarrass- 
ments of worse than poverty, of debt 
apparently insurmountable. Yet neither 
Anne, nor her father, nor her brothers, nor 
her sister failed to meet misfortune bravely 
and cheerfully. She writes more quietly, 
now sobered by her first experience of the 
'changes and chances of this mortal life.' 
In 1828 she went with her father to 
Carlisle and Edinburgh. At Carlisle 
she writes to Lockhart, ' Papa took me 
with him to the Cathedral : this he had 
often done before, but he said he must 
stand once more on the spot where he 
married poor mamma.' 1 The incident re- 
calls the last lines of the ' Sad fortunes 
of the Rev. Amos Barton,' which describe 

1 Vol. v., p. 209, chap, lxxvi. 



26 SCOTT LETTERS 

another father and daughter standing, not 
in a cathedral, but by the dead wife's and 
mother's grave in a dreary churchyard. 
In Letter xxxi., after some hesitation, I 
have allowed a passage to remain in which 
Anne tells Miss Millar of her rejection of 
an offer of marriage. It is an old story, and 
to let it be told will hurt no one now. It 
was impossible that an attractive girl, hand- 
some, sensible, and witty, a good daughter 
and a good sister, should have had no 
suitors, for she was well worth the winning, 
though not easily won. There is always 
something pathetic about a love story 
which comes to nothing ; in her story, the 
' pity of it ' lies in this, that the heroine, 
after the twenty-third year of her short 
life, had little happiness, though she was 
comforted by the sense of usefulness, and 
of duty faithfully performed under the 
burdens of anxiety and poor health. 

Her last journey with her father was to 
Malta and Naples at the end of 1831. 
Both of them were in quest of health and 
strength. They did not find what they 



INTRODUCTION 27 

sought, and returned home, he to die at 
Abbotsford in September 1832. She was 
with him when he died. ' She never,' as her 
brother Charles writes in Letter xxxvu., 
' recovered from the shock of her father's 
death.' 'The strange and awful scenes,' 
to which she alludes in her last letter to 
Miss Millar, had broken her down, and 
after a winter and spring, spent in London 
under the loving care of her sister and 
brother-in-law, she followed her father. 
That she was ready to follow him we 
know from a touching passage in the Life, 1 
' Her constitution had been miserably 
shattered in the course of her long and 
painful attendance first on her mother's 
illness and then on her father's ; and 
perhaps reverse of fortune, and disappoint- 
ments of various sorts connected with that, 
had also heavy effect. From the day of 
Sir Walter's death, the strong stimulus of 
duty being lost, she too often looked and 
spoke like one 

"Taking the measure of an unmade grave." 
1 Vol. v., p. 451, chap, lxxxiv. 



28 SCOTT LETTERS 

She died in my house in the Regent's Park 
on the 25th of June 1833, and her remains 
are placed in the New Cemetery in the 
Harrow Road. The adjoining grave holds 
those of her nephew, John Hugh Lock- 
hart, who died on the 15th of December 
1831, and also those of my wife Sophia.' 

Sir Walter's remains lie, far away from 
Harrow Road, 

<f>i\rj iv irarpihi yoLLy, 

in Dryburgh Abbey, 'by the side of his 
wife in the sepulchre of his ancestors.' 

Only one letter from Lady Scott was 
kept by Miss Millar ; a letter of a simple 
domestic character, worth inserting for the 
mention of the ' little people,' for its record 
of the menu of a dinner in Scotland ninety 
years ago, and most of all because it was 
written by Scott's wife. It has been said 
that she was not the wife for him. That 
was not Scott's opinion. She has been 
represented as a dull woman who did not 
understand her husband, nor his greatness. 
She can hardly have been a dull woman 



INTRODUCTION 29 

who wrote the letters during her engage- 
ment which are given in the Life. 1 It is 
questionable also whether a husband and 
wife ought to entirely understand each 
other, and whether some room ought not 
to be left for mystery and illusion on both 
sides. Ought both husband and wife to be 
persons of genius ? Surely the married life 
of two geniuses, even of two clever persons, 
is generally deficient in comfort and re- 
pose, and the old Scotsman was right 
who said that ' ae sensible partner ' (he 
might have said ' ae genius ') ' is enough in 
the married state.' 

This much is clear, that Scott loved his 
wife dearly, and felt her death profoundly. 
Entries in the Diary 2 from May 11 to 
October 11, 1826, show how he missed his 
' thirty years' companion ' ; missed not 
literary sympathy, but ' the affectionate 
care which smoothed his pillow, and offered 
condolence and assistance ' ; words which 

1 Vol. i. , chap. viii. 

2 Vol. iv., p. 507, chap. lxx. ; and vol. v., chap. lxxi. 

passim. 



30 SCOTT LETTERS 

the writer would not quote but for in- 
dignation with thoughtless chatter. His 
daughters had the same love for one who 
did not put herself en evidence in the 
family history, but was none the less for 
that a good wife and mother. 

Two great men have criticised Scott 
with much severity. Byron, with the 
petulance of youth, when, to use his own 
words, addressed to Scott after they be- 
came friends, ' I was very young and very 
angry, and, fully bent on displaying my 
wrath and my wit, called him " Apollo's 
venal son." : Carlyle, with the petulance 
which did not diminish as he grew older, 
and which made him unjust to friend and 
foe, and to himself, spoke of Scott as 
actuated by no higher motive than the 
desire to make money, become a laird, and 
found a family ; yet with a happy incon- 
sistency he recognises in him qualities 
not usually co-existent with commonplace 
ambitions. This is not the place for a 
discussion of these criticisms. They are 
mentioned only because, even were it con- 



INTRODUCTION 31 

ceded that they are partly just, there can 
be discerned between the lines of these 
unpretending letters two ' notes ' of mag- 
nanimity in the character of Scott, un- 
selfishness, and heroic endurance, more 
than endurance, a ' noble cheerfulness ' and 
indomitable energy under misfortunes 
which would have crushed any man not 
really great. Carlyle saw Scott's greatness 
in the extracts from the Diary given by 
Lockhart. The stern critic rightly calls 
the feelings and conduct evidenced by 
these extracts ' tragical and beautiful,' and 
speaks of Scott as one man of genius ought 
to speak of another ; for Carlyle knew how 
to praise what is worthy of praise, when he 
saw it clearly, with vision undimmed by 
biliousness, depression, and fatigue. 

No one can understand Scott or do 
justice to him who has not read his Diary. 
Being human, he was not faultless; but 
every one is truly judged by his best, not 
by his worst ; for his best is the real nature 
of the man ; a comforting doctrine, but 
true. Scott was most himself during the 



32 SCOTT LETTERS 

last six years of his life. When financial 
ruin came, in the early months of 1826, he 
was in the fifty-fourth year of a laborious 
life ; his health was breaking, if not broken ; 
his eldest son and eldest daughter had left 
Abbotsford for homes of their own; his 
wife and beloved grandson, ' Hugh Little- 
john,' were ill, and soon to be taken from 
him. His ruin was complete, and seemed 
irretrievable, for he owed £130,000. Never 
did misfortunes come to any one in heavier 
battalions. He disdained to clear himself 
by bankruptcy, unless it were forced upon 
him; 1 for bankruptcy, he said, 'I should, in 
a Court of Honour, deserve to lose my 
spurs. God grant me health and strength, 
and I will yet pay every man his due.' 
Within two years he paid £40,000, made 
by writing Woodstock, The Life of 
Napoleon, The Tales of a Grandfather*, 
and The Fair Maid of Perth t and by selling 
the copyright of his earlier works. He for- 
gave Constable and Ballantyne, to whom 
— and alas ! to his own carelessness — his 

1 Vol. iv., p. 419, chap, lxvii. 



INTRODUCTION 33 

ruin was due. He spent time and money 
in helping other unfortunate men of letters, 
some of whom had neither claim on him, 
nor any merit of their own. 1 Though 
he suffered from sickness, loneliness, and 
sorrow, he kept his troubles to himself, 
and, on public occasions, and in the society 
of old friends, he showed himself brave 
and serene, with frequent flashes of humour 
and almost gaiety. His indomitable hero- 
ism was rewarded by widespread sympathy 
and respect ; it was rewarded also by offers, 
invariably refused, of pecuniary assistance 
from persons of very various kinds ; from 
'Poor Mr. Pole, 2 the harper, who sent to 
offer me £500 or £600, probably his all,' to 
some unknown friend 3 who made him ' the 
very odd anonymous offer of £30,000.' 

On the day after his wife's death, 4 he 
writes, ' I scarce know how I feel — some- 



1 Vol. v., pp. 168-76, chap. lxxv. These pages are worth 
reading for the comical story of G. H. Gordon and for other 
reasons. 

2 Vol. iv., p. 416, chap. lxvi. 

3 Vol. iv., p. 435, chap, lxvii. 

4 Vol. iv., p. 507, chap. lxx. 

C 



34 SCOTT LETTERS 

times as firm as the Bass Rock ; sometimes 
as weak as the water that breaks on it.' 1 
This alternation of depression and fortitude 
can be traced all through the Diary, which 
no one, unless he is blinded by literary or 
political antagonism, can read without 
affection and veneration for the ' real ' 
Scott. 

The ■ Conclusion ' in Lockhart's Life of 
Scott is one of the best chapters in that 
admirable book. There are explained 
things which puzzle Scott's admirers, his 
1 dream not of personal fame,' but of long 
distant generations rejoicing in the name 
of ' Scott of Abbotsford ' ; his ' fatal con- 
nection with merchandise ' ; his conceal- 
ment of that connection, and carelessness 
in the conduct of it; his almost extrava- 
gant loyalty to George in. and George iv., 
apparently incompatible with his fervent 
Jacobitism. 

1 ' His Diary shows that, in spite of the dignified 
equanimity which characterised all his conversation with 
mankind, he had his full share of the delicate sensibilities, 
the mysterious ups and downs, the wayward melancholy, 
the fantastic sunbeams of the poetical temperament.' 
(Lockhart, vol. v., p. 152, chap, lxxiv.) 



INTRODUCTION 35 

It is dangerous to speculate on the dura- 
tion of literary fame, but it seems probable 
that the reaction, now beginning, from 
1 psychological analysis ' and general ' sub- 
jectivity,' will, in the course of this new 
century, raise Scott's poetry and novels 
to even a higher place in literature than 
was awarded to them seventy years ago. 
Should the publication of these letters help 
in the humblest way towards such a con- 
summation, the writer will have had a far 
more than adequate reward for his poor 
performance of a pleasant duty. 



SCOTT LETTERS 



Sir Walter Scott to his daughter 
Sophia. 1 

1810(?). 

Beneath every king's reign Papa expects 
Sophia to write down neatly and in good 

1 This undated letter, in Sir Walter's clearest and most 
careful handwriting, was written to a child of probably ten 
or eleven years of age, and comes first in interest as well 
as in date of the letters here published. In it is implied, 
if not stated, the theory of history which found expres- 
sion in the Tales of a Grandfather, written for his daughter's 
son sixteen or seventeen years later. Sir Walter would 
have been impatient with any one who told him that great 
men are the products of their age, and who talked to him 
about laws of history, and causation, and prediction. It is 
painful to think what he would have said about Comte and 
Buckle and their adherents. In his view great men made 
their age, and history was to him not a science, but a 
romance. He was a hero-worshipper, and would have 
agreed with Carlyle in believing that 'the history of what 
man has accomplished in this world is the history of the 
great men who have worked here ; they were the leaders 
of men these great ones.' The best comment on this letter 
is the passage quoted in the Introduction, where Lockhart 

37 



38 SCOTT LETTERS 

spelling the following particulars : Whether 
his reign was peaceful or warlike. 

If warlike, with whom he was at war ; 
and particularly whether with his own 
subjects or foreign nations. Also whether 
he was victorious in battle (generally), or 
defeated. 

Whether any great alterations of govern- 
ment took place in his reign, and what 
they were. 

Whether he was a good man or a bad. 

Whether the condition of his subjects was 
amended or became worse under his reign. 

II 

My dear Miss Millar, — Mr. Scott 
finds that he has so many things to settle 
here, and besides so 1 unable to resist the 

describes Scott's lectures on history delivered to his own 
children. Would that he were lecturing or writing now 
for older children ! Such a wish implies no discontent with 
the instructive lectures on history now delivered by the 
professors in the University of Weissnichtwo. 

1 The editor has not corrected the mistakes in grammar 
or spelling which occur in some of these letters ; deficiencies 
in both were more common a hundred years ago than now, 
and were then, as now, compatible with intellectual and 



SCOTT LETTERS 39 

temptation of remaining here a little longer, 
that he has put off our return to Town for 
Monday next, when we hope to have the 
pleasure of seeing you, and to find you all 
well. Will you have the goodness to tell 
the Cook that we are to have a large party 
to dine with us on Wednesday next ; there- 
fore wishes she would get on Saturday, feet 
for jelly, and meat for soup, and either a 
Saddle or a handsome piece of Beef for the 
bottom dish, also pallets, sweet bread, etc. 
Will you also tell her I will bring with me 
a Hen, Chickens, and, if I can, Ducks ; 
therefore not to bespeak any poultry or fish 
until I come. The weather here is fine, but 
very cold, so much so that ice may be seen 
early in the morning, and which has done 
much damage among the plants. Sophia 
joins me in kindest and best wishes to you ; 

moral qualities of the highest kind. It must be remembered 
that Lady Scott was French and bilingual, and that it is 
hard to write correctly in two languages, and not easy to 
do so in one. Professor Hodgson has shown in his Errors 
in the Use of English that the best English writers write 
bad English. We must therefore pardon Lady Scott and 
her daughters, and her husband also, for being supra gram- 
maticam. 



40 SCOTT LETTERS 

love to all the little people, 1 and a thousand 
kisses, and believe me yours very sincerely, 
M. Charlotte Scott. 

Remember us to the Russells and 
Rutherford. I hope you will be able to 
read this scrawl I am writing in such a 
hurry. 

Wednesday, Two o'clock. 

Will you tell John that I hope he will 
amuse himself with cleaning his plate 
stands, etc. 

Abbotsford (?), June 9, 1814. 

Ill 

Abbotsford, August 3, 1817. 

My dear Miss Millar,— It gave us 
great pleasure to hear that you were upon a 
nearer view pleased with your situation, and 
that you found Miss Scrymegour though 
a little spoilt a very good girl. I went 
with Papa and Mamma upon the 12th 

1 The little people are of course Walter, Anne, and 
Charles, aged respectively ahout thirteen, eleven, and eight. 



SCOTT LETTERS 41 

to Drumlanrig, Captain Adam Ferguson x 
went with us also. We went first to Loch 
Lomond to visit Mr. Macdonald Buchanan, 
and when we were there Papa and the rest 
of the gentlemen went up to the head of 
the Loch to see Rob Roy's cave ; none of 
the ladies to my great mortification were 
allowed to be of the party, as they did not 
know but they might have had to sleep all 
night in an ale-house which they were to 
land at, in case they could not make out 
Ross : 2 as it was they landed at Ross about 
eleven o'clock, highly pleased with their 
expedition. We went from Ross to 
Drumlanrig round by Greenock and Largs, 
at which last place we walked over the 

1 Captain Adam Ferguson, the son of Dr. Adam Ferguson 
(Lockhart, vol. iv v p. 41, chap, lvi.), was one of the earliest 
and most valued of Scott's friends. ' He combined the 
lightest and most airy temper with the best and kindest 
disposition.' They had 'high jinks' together in their 
youth ; a ludicrous story is told of the origin of Ferguson's 
cognomen c Linton.' He became Scott's neighbour in 1818, 
and lived at Huntly Burn after his retirement from the 
army, and became keeper of the Regalia ' to the great joy 
of all Edinburgh.' (Vol. i., p. 43, chap. i. ; n. 162, chap. i. ; 
vol. iii.,, p. 158, chap, xl.) 

2 See in Lockhart's Life (vol. iii., p. 125, chap. xxxix.) 
Scott's lines on this expedition. 



42 SCOTT LETTERS 

ground where the battle against the Danes 
was fought ; the remains of immense cairns 
of stones mark the battle. I daresay you 
will be sorry to hear that poor Mrs. 
Laidlaw * is dead ; she died about two 
months ago. Perhaps you may have heard 
that Lady Hood is married. She married 
a very pleasant clever man, Mr. Stewart of 
Glasserton, who has a very good fortune ; 
so she has dropped the ladyship, and is now 
plain Mrs. Stewart Mackenzie : she sent 
us gloves, cake, and favours. The new 
house is coming on very fast ; they are 
building the last story, and it looks beauti- 
ful. We spend most of our time in airing 
ourselves upon the top, and I think it will 
be wonderful if it is finished without any 
of us breaking our necks. Lord Somerville 
is going to give us a boat for our Loch : 2 it 
is to be launched to-morrow with due 

1 Mother of William Laidlaw, Scott's steward or factor, 
and valued friend. (Vol. iii., p. 136, chap, xxxviii., and 
Introduction.) 

2 The loch was Cauldshields Loch, near the scene of 
Thomas the Rhymer's interviews with the Queen of 
Elfland. The boat was called 'Search No. I,' in allusion 
to the Antiquary, chap, xxiii. (Mrs. Maxwell-Scott.) 



SCOTT LETTERS 43 

ceremony, the noble donor and the Scotts 
of Mertoun to be present. Mamma and 
Papa with all of us join me in best wishes to 
you, and believe me to remain your affec- 
tionate pupil, 

Charlotte Sophia Scott. 

You must just put enough of boiling 
water in the milk to make it sufficiently 
warm. 

Write soon. 

IV 

Edinburgh, November 25, 1817. 

My dear Miss Millar, — Ann and I 
return you many thanks for your very 
pretty purses. I can assure you they came 
in very good time, for we had just come to 
town, and according to custom had lost 
every thing in the shape of a purse, and 
were reduced to the disgraceful alternative 
of carrying our shillings (I won't say pence) 
in our glove, to our infinite loss. Papa has 
been very well till within a fortnight ago, 



44 SCOTT LETTERS 

when he had a severe fit of the cramp, but 
he is now quite recovered, and I hope will 
pass the winter without any more returns 
of that severe complaint, 1 for you have no 
idea of the dreadful pain of the attacks, 
and the more so as they always come on in 
the night. Abbotsford is looking beauti- 
ful. The new house was just going to be 
roofed in when I left it, so that I think that 
by next summer we will be able to inhabit 
it. Papa has made a great addition to his 
property lately, for he has bought Mr. 
Usher's place of Toftfield, which makes 
our ground extend up to the foot of the 
Eildon hills, and even up part of them, 
and, besides that, there is an excellent rich 
house upon it (that Mr. Usher had just 
built, but had never gone into, as it is 
hardly finished), that Capt. Ferguson and 
his sisters are coming to live in next year, 
so we will have a merry summer of it with 
him so near a neighbour. We had the 
famous Mr. Wilkie, the painter, for a 
fortnight at Abbotsford, when Capt. 

1 See Scott's letter, vol. iii. , pp. 138-9, chap, xxxix. 



SCOTT LETTERS 45 

Ferguson and his sister were with us, and 
he made a capital picture of the whole 
family, which he intends to finish in 
London for the exhibition, and afterwards 
to engrave, so we will have a print of it. 
We are all drawn in character. Ann and 
I as two milkmaids with pails upon our 
heads, Papa sitting, and Capt. Ferguson 
standing, looking for all the world like 
an old poacher who understands his trade. 
Papa has got us a most delightful new harp 
from London the other day. It and the 
stand for the books cost £119, so you may 
think that it is a very handsome thing. We 
had Lady Byron 1 for a day at Abbotsford. 
She is very pretty and very melancholy. 
We went to the Melrose and Selkirk balls, 
besides a delightful dance at the Duke of 
Buccleuch's, so for my part I find the 

1 See Scott's letter to Miss Joanna Baillie (vol. iii., p. 138, 
chap, xxxix.), a letter of importance as bearing on the Byron 
controversy. Laidlaw gives the following description of 
Lady Byron : ' Her ladyship is a beautiful little woman, 
with fair hair, a fine complexion, and rather large blue eyes ; 
face not round. She looked steadily gi-ave, and seldom 
smiled. I thought her mouth indicated great firmness, or 
rather obstinacy.' {Abbotsford Notanda, p. 150.) 



46 SCOTT LETTERS 

country far more gay than the town. I 
believe I will go a little about this winter. 
I only hope I may get half as many beaux 
as I have had in the country. 

I hope you will write soon, for you know 
my penchant for receiving a letter. We 
begin all our studies this week. Mamma, 
Papa, Walter, Ann, and Charles, join me 
in best love to you, and believe me to 
remain, my dear Miss Millar, your affec- 
tionate pupil, 

Charlotte Sophia Scott. 

Excuse writing for my sake. 
Grandmamma, the Humes, 1 the Russels, 
and Miss Rutherford are quite well. 

1 For Scott's own account of his relationships see vol. i., 
pp. 8-11, chap, i., and chap, ii., pp. 49-64, for Lockhart's com- 
ment. He came of ' decent people,' being by his mother's side 
a Swinton, and through his father's side descended from Scott 
of Harden, and thus connected with the house of Buccleuch. 
Scott was proud of his gentle birth, and it deeply affected 
his character and his views of many things : ' To be a chief 
of the soil and its people, and contemplate his children as 
succeeding him in the same position, was with him to realise 
one of the poetical dreams which haunted his mind.' It was 
an ambition, not of a vulgar parvenu, but one ' grafted on 
that ardent feeling for blood and kindred which was the 
great redeeming element in the social life of the Middle 



SCOTT LETTERS 47 

V 

October 18, 1818. 

My dear Miss Millar, — I received 
your kind letter, and I can assure you that 
it gave us all very great pleasure to hear 
of your getting a good situation. Mamma 
and Papa desire me to say that it would 
give them very great 'pleasure if you could 
spare time to come and see all our improve- 
ments here ; if you would write to me the 
day you can come, we would be down to 
meet you at the toll. I can assure you 
(though I say it that should not say it) 
Abbotsford is well worth looking at now. 
Do try and come here as soon as you can, 
as we cannot expect the weather to remain 
long as delightful as it is at present : be- 
sides, if you come at the beginning of 
next week you will have the supreme 

Ages. There was much kindness surely in such ambition ; 
in spite of the apparent contradiction in terms, was there 
not really much humility about it?' Scott worshipped 
birth and genius, not rank nor money. See a striking 
passage in the Life, vol. iv., pp. 329-31, chap. lxiv. 



48 SCOTT LETTERS 

felicity of seeing your elegant pupil 1 
Walter in his yeomanry dress, which, I 
can assure you, he is not a little vain 
of. Papa asked him lately what his 
brilliant genius inclined him to, and he 
declared that he would be nothing 
but a soldier ; so a soldier he is to be. 
If you see Miss Hume before you come 
here, be sure and give my very best 
love to her. I daresay you will have 
been sorry to hear that Miss Russel has 
lost her brother Alexander. He died of 
a fever in India ; she has been very ill in 
consequence. Perhaps you will be so good 
as to enquire how she does, and bring us 
word. Dear Miss Millar, hoping to see 
you here very soon, I reserve all my news 
till we meet, and believe me to remain 
your very affectionate friend, 

Charlotte Sophia Scott. 

1 The ' elegant pupil ' was then a handsome boy of seven- 
teen. See an account of him — of ' his muscular strength, 
his sweet and even temper, and talents, which in the son of 
any father but his would have been considered brilliant " — 
in Lockhart, vol. v. , p. 464, addenda to the last chapter. 
He died childless in 1847, and with him the baronetcy 
expired. Sophia idolised him, and ridiculed her idol, as 



SCOTT LETTERS 49 

You will find your old friend Mr. Terry l 
here. We dance to the pipes 2 almost every 
night in the new dining-room. Excuse 
this horrid writing, but the man is waiting 
to take this up to Selkirk, that you may 
get it a day sooner. 



VI 

My dear Miss Millar, — I write this 
to let you know that we have just heard 
of the death of Mamma's brother, Mr. 
Carpenter : he died upon the 4th of March, 
after an illness of about a week. You will 
be glad to hear that he has left the whole 

worshippers sometimes do. Compare Letter ix. for another 
exhibition of the ways of sisters. 

1 Daniel Terry, the 'ingenious comedian.' A charming 
sketch of him is given by Lockhart (vol. ii., pp. 102-3, chap, 
xix.). He was one of the many hapless men of letters to 
whom Scott gave assistance when he was himself in need 
and necessity. To him was due the adaptation to the stage 
of some of the Waverley novels, what Scott used to call 
their ' Terrification. ' 

2 The pipes to which they danced were played by a ' tall 
and stalwart bagpiper, in complete Highland costume, 
pacing to and fro on the green before the house.' He 
was named ' John of Skye,' and was professionally a hedger 
and ditcher, who ' only figured with the pipe and philabeg 
on high occasions.' (Lockhart, vol. iii., pp. 219-21, chap, xlii.) 

D 



50 SCOTT LETTERS 

of his fortune to be equally divided be- 
tween us four ; that is to say, we are to 
get full possession of it after Mrs. Car- 
penter's death, as she is to have the 
interest of it all during her life. He has 
not even left a farthing to Mamma, or any 
other person. We do not know exactly 
how much the fortune is, but it is very 
considerable : there is thirty thousand safe 
in this country, and I believe that there 
is as much, or more, in India. 1 Papa is 
talking of going abroad in September, and 
of taking Mamma and us four as far as 
Geneva, there to leave us to join some 
party, and proceed homewards by Paris, 
while himself and Walter will proceed to 
Italy, and from thence over to Greece ; 
but this is only a talk, though I daresay 
it will take place, as Papa is very anxious 
that Walter should get rid of his shy- 
ness by going abroad before he enters 
the Guards, as it is now settled he is to 
go into that regiment, on account of their 

1 This estimate of the fortune was much exaggerated. 
See Lockhartj vol. iii., pp. 240-1. 



SCOTT LETTERS 51 

not going to the East or West Indies. 
Our uncle dying has made quite a noise 
in the town : all the old women in the 
town torment Papa with questions about 
poor Mr. Carpenter's will. Papa wishes 
that he could write the whole story over 
the door. I hope that you will write to 
me very soon, and let me know how you 
like your new situation. 

The Duke 1 is gone abroad for his health, 
and has taken Adam Ferguson with him. 
We hope that, if you should come to town, 
that you will take up your quarters here. 

I remain, dear Miss Millar, with best 
love from all here, yours very affectionately, 

Charlotte Sophia Scott. 

39 Castle Street, 2 

Friday, December 12, 1818. 

1 The Duke of Buccleuch. 

2 39 North Castle Street was the house in which Scott lived 
from 1798 down to 1826. He used it as his town house, 
spending his vacations, and occasional holidays, at Lass- 
wade, or Ashestiel, or Abhotsford. ' The cabin was con- 
venient,' he writes in his Diary, March 15, 1826, ' and habit 
had made it agreeable to me. This morning I leave it for 
the last time. Farewell, poor 39 — " Ha til mi tulid " ' (I 
return no more). (Lockhart, vol. iv., p. 476, chap, lxviii.) 



52 SCOTT LETTERS 

VII 

Abbotsford, llth May 1819- 

My dear Miss Millar, — I would have 
written to you long ago, but Papa's dread- 
ful state of health 1 for these last two 
months has prevented me from thinking of 
anything but himself; and at one time, 
for nearly three weeks, there did not pass 
one night in which we were not up, either 
the whole night, or most part of it; and 
constantly wanted in his room the whole 
day, so that what with nursing him and 
writing for him I had not one moment 
to myself. He is now, thank God, getting 
quite well, and, I trust, past all danger of 

1 During the whole of this year, especially in March and 
April, Scott suffered terribly from ' a recurrence of the 
maladies (cramp in the stomach, and jaundice) which had 
so much alarmed his friends in the early part of the year 
1817, and which had continued ever since to torment him 
at intervals.' (Lockhart, chap. xliv. passim. ) He was now in 
his forty-ninth year, and twenty years of excessive literary 
labour had brought their penalty. His health, as he writes 
to Southey, was now ' very totterish,' but his energy and 
industry were undiminished. It was in this year that he 
first employed an amanuensis. The account given by 
Lockhart (vol. iii., p. 280, chap. xliv. ) of William Laidlaw's 
performances in that capacity is well worth reading. 



SCOTT LETTERS 53 

a relapse. For three weeks, to add to the 
jaundice, he had the most dreadful spasms 
in his stomach, every twenty-four hours, 
which lasted, notwithstanding immense 
quantities of opiates, and sometimes bleed- 
ing, eight, nine, and ten hours at a time ; 
and one attack remained unmoved for 
thirty-six hours, during all which time 
he was not five minutes free from the 
most dreadful agony. Though we have 
been in the country since Papa was taken 
ill, and consequently had many incon- 
veniences to struggle with, yet, upon the 
whole, it was better that we were here, 
as besides Dr. Clarkson coming every day, 
we had his son, a very clever young man, 
staying in the house ; and what made us 
very easy was that when Dr. Ross came 
out, he found that everything had been 
done that was possible. Doctor Baillie 
also declared that he could advise nothing 
more than what had been already done. 
You would be much shocked at the 
death of poor Joseph Hume ; l he died in 

1 See Lockhart, vol. iii., p. 274, chap. xliv. Joseph Hume 



54 SCOTT LETTERS 

five minutes; he had had a sore throat, 
but not the very least danger apprehended, 
so much so that they were to have com- 
pany to dinner. He was in bed, and 
talking to his sister, when he fell back 
choking, and in two minutes all was 
over. The doctors seem to think that 
it was a sudden spasm in the throat. 
What a dreadful loss to his family ; and 
to make it still worse, if possible, he was 
going to be married to one of Sir John 
Hay's daughters almost immediately. 
Papa's dear and best friend, the Duke 
of Buccleuch, 1 has taken leave of this life 

was the only son of Mr. David Hume, Professor of Scots Law 
in the University of Edinburgh, whose lectures Scott had 
attended with much profit and pleasure, when reading for 
the bar. The Professor became Baron of the Exchequer. 
He was a cultivated man, and seems to have been among the 
first who penetrated the disguise of the author of Waverley, 
arguing that ' he must be of a Jacobite family and predilec- 
tions, a yeoman-cavalryman, and a Scottish lawyer.' The 
Baron was a nephew of the greater David Hume, whom 
Scott knew only by his rhymes written on a pane of glass in 
an inn at Carlisle, ' the only rhymes the philosopher was 
ever known to be guilty of.' (Lockhart, vol. iii., p. 31, 
chap, xxxv.) 

x See Scott's letter in Lockhart, vol. iii., pp. 288-90, 
chap. xliv. — the letter of one mourning the loss not of a 
' noble patron,' but of his friend and the chief of his clan. 



SCOTT LETTERS 55 

upon the 20th of last month, at Lisbon, 
where he had gone for his health, accom- 
panied by Captain Adam Ferguson : al- 
though Papa has been expecting that sad 
event for some time, still it has been a 
dreadful shock to him. The country is 
looking quite beautiful, and we regret 
very much being under the necessity of 
returning to town the day after to-morrow. 
I hope that you find your present situation 
comfortable, and that your young charge 
is improving as rapidly as you can wish. 
You will be glad to hear that Walter is 
likely to experience no inconvenience or 
delay in getting into the army, although 
it is such a difficult matter at present ; 
but the Duke of York says that he will 
get over everything for Mr. Scott. Charles 
is quite well, and doing very well at the 
High School, which he is attending at 
present. At some future time Papa talks 
of putting him to some good school at 
Geneva. We were pretty gay before we 
left town, and had so many invitations that, 
if we had accepted a quarter of them, we 



56 SCOTT LETTERS 

might have been at two or three places a 
night, but we kept on the side of modera- 
tion. Anne is grown up a very hand- 
some girl, 1 and is much admired : she is 
improved very much upon the harp ; in- 
deed, Mr. Pole says that, if she would 
practise, she would be one of the best 
players in town, for the time she has been 
at it. I hope your friends the Toveys are 
well : it must be a great pleasure to you 
their being so near. 

I hope that you will write to me very 
soon, and believe me to remain, with best 
love to you, in which I am joined by all 
the family, yours ever most affectionately, 

Charlotte Sophia Scot. 

VIII 

My dear Miss Millar, — You will 
rejoice to hear that Papa is quite well now, 
and the improvement has been so gradual 
that there is no chance (at least to all 

1 Anne was now sixteen, a ' lively, rattling girl ' (Lockhart, 
vol. iii., p. 230, chap, xlii.), and probably averse to steady 
practice on the harp, or in letter-writing (see Letter vni.). 



SCOTT LETTERS 57 

appearance) of a relapse — be has got quite 
rid of his yellow complexion, and feels no 
other inconvenience than a temporary 
weakness. Both Papa and Mamma set 
out to-day at twelve o'clock for Abbots- 
ford, and Papa thinks that, if he feels 
quite stout, he will not return here, but 
send Mamma back in about a fortnight, 
or three weeks, to arrange this house, and 
transport us all out to Abbotsford to re- 
main the summer. The fish arrived quite 
safe, and were most excellent, and you 
would have heard of their arrival long 
ago, if you had trusted me to write 
to you ; but after having witnessed the 
destruction of three different epistles of 
Anne's by the hand of the fair authoress, 
I in despair take the pen, as you are not 
very likely to hear often from the young 
lady. I will write to you the very moment 
I hear from Abbotsford, and believe me 
to remain, in a dreadful hurry, your very 
sincere friend, 

C. Sophia Scott. 

39 Castle Street, Monday, June 14, 1819. 



58 SCOTT LETTERS 



IX 

My dear Miss Millar, — I have the 
pleasure to be able to tell you that Papa 
is getting quite well and strong once more. 
He had a very bad attack after I wrote 
to you, occasioned, as we think, by the 
fatigue of coming to the country long 
before he was strong enough to bear the 
journey, but now he is in the fair way of 
complete convalescence, to which the good 
air of Abbotsford and gentle exercise does 
not a little contribute. You will be glad 
to hear that Walter's commission is come 
down, and that his name was in yester- 
day's gazette as cornet in the 18th Light 
Dragoons, now Hussars : he is too happy, 
and the only thing that is to be feared is 
his dying of pride and conceit before he 
joins, as it is among the most dashing 
regiments in the service. He has as yet 
got no orders, but of course he must either 
join or go to a military college; the 18th 
is in Ireland. You may be sure we will 



SCOTT LETTERS 59 

miss him very much. Anne has had a 
very bad cough for some time, but her 
taking warm milk in the morning since 
she came to the country, and change of 
air has cured it almost completely. She 
will write very soon. Abbotsford is look- 
ing quite beautiful just now. Mamma is 
gone to town for a few days to super- 
intend the packing of the carts, and to 
bring with her for the summer Walter, 
and the rest of the servants : we expect 
her upon Monday. How do you like 
the New Tales of my Landlord?. Are 
they not excellent? I would advise you 
to read a new book which will be out 
soon called Peter s Letters to Ms Kinsfolk, 1 
being a description of the society of 
Glasgow and Edinburgh. It is one of the 
most clever, and at the same time rather 

1 Peter's Letters to his Kinsfolk was written by Lockhart, 
aided probably by one or more of the clever young advo- 
cates who composed the Chaldee MS. Scott gives his 
opinion of his future son-in-law's first book in a letter 
written in acknowledgment of its receipt. (Lockhart, 
vol. iii., pp. 303-4, chap, xlv.) Sophia probably knew 
who its author was, and judged it favourably ; even more 
favourably than the New Tales of my Landlord. 



60 SCOTT LETTERS 

severe books that has been written for 
ages ; this is Papa's opinion. I hope that 
you will excuse this sad scrawl, and that 
the good news that it contains of Papa's 
health will be its apology ; and with most 
sincere good wishes from all here to your- 
self, believe me to remain ever yours most 
affectionately, 

Charlotte Sophia Scott. 

Abbotsford, 5th July 1819- 

X 

Abbotsford, September 24, 1819- 

My dear Miss Millar, — I had almost 
made a vow that I would not write again 
till I heard from you, but you have been 
so long about it, that I can wait no longer. 
Besides I have as great an event to relate 
as Lady Margaret's dejeune at Tiltetude- 
lum (Tillietudlem) : our poor house has 
been honoured by a visit of his Royal 
Highness Prince Leopold, 1 and I shall now 
give you the particulars in full. 

1 The Prince was Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, after- 



SCOTT LETTERS 61 

Last Friday papa received a note from 
the Magistrates of Selkirk saying that the 
Prince was to pass through their town at 
twelve o'clock, on his way to Carlisle, 
where he was to sleep, and requesting 
him, as Sheriff, to come up and receive 
him. Accordingly all of us, with the addi- 
tion of Mr. and Mrs. Skene, 1 and Eliza 

wards King of the Belgians. (Lockhart, vol. iii., pp. 323-5, 
chap, xliv.) 

1 The Skenes were the Skenes of Rubislaw. James Skene 
became Scott's friend in 1796. They were drawn together 
at first by their interest in German literature, and by other 
common tastes, for both were antiquaries of different kinds 
but equal enthusiasm, into an intimacy, of which writes 
Skene, ' I shall ever think with so much pride of a friend- 
ship so pure and cordial as to have been able to withstand 
all the vicissitudes of nearly forty years, without ever 
having sustained even a casual chill from unkind thought 
or word.' (Lockhart, vol. i., p. 224, chap, viii.) The refer- 
ences to him in the Life are numerous, and show that 
Skene was Scott's dearest friend. In the Diary (Jan. 23, 
1826) we can read words, perhaps not altogether just to 
other friends who also stood by Scott in his disasters, but 
just at least to ' the good Samaritan James Skene, the only 
one among my numerous friends who can properly be 
termed amicus curarum mearum, others being too busy or 
too gay, and several being estranged by habit. ' Mrs. Skene, 
c a most excellent person and tenderly fond of Sophia,' 
complied with his desire that 'she should carry him to 
renew an acquaintance which seems to have been inter- 
rupted from the period of his youthful romance.' She 
told Lockhart that ' a very painful scene ensued' (vol. v., 



62 SCOTT LETTERS 

Russell, 1 set off in a body to receive his 
Royal Highness. We met him a mile 
beyond Selkirk, and when Papa said that 
Melrose was well worth his Royal Highness 
seeing, he replied, that nothing he regretted 
so much as the arrangements for horses, etc., 
making it impossible for him to go so far 
out of his route, but it would be impossible 
for him to leave Scotland without seeing 
Mr. Scott in his own house ; this, you 
observe, being eight miles out of the way, 
made it really a compliment. Figure the 
dismay of the female part of our family 
upon hearing this Royal resolve, not having 
the least idea of his coming out of his 
way to see us. We had left no orders at 
home — time we had not an instant, as 
his Royal Highness arrived at Abbotsford 
the moment we did, but, wonderful to 

p. 160, chap, lxxiv.), and she thought it 'highly probable 
that it was on returning from this call that he committed 
to writing the verses " To Time," by his early favourite, 
which you have printed in your first volume' (vol. i., 
p. 211, chap. vii). 

1 Eliza and Jane Russell were the grand-daughters of 
Col. Russell of Ashestiel, who married Jane Rutherford, a 
sister of Scott's mother. 



SCOTT LETTERS 63 

relate, for it really seemed like enchant- 
ment, in about three-quarters of an hour, 
we were able to place him, as the news- 
papers express these things, to an elegant 
collation. He was, or seemed to be, truly 
pleased with everything, and said, on 
departing, how happy he should be if Papa 
would receive him, upon his return to 
Scotland, for a longer visit, but, as he was 
situated with regard to time, he would not 
take any of the few moments he could 
call his own from the pleasure of Mr. 
Walter Scott's company, though it was 
to see Melrose. He staid two hours with 
us, and, even if he had not been a prince, 
or had such an interesting and melancholy 
history, he must have gained every person's 
love by his unaffected and pleasant manners 
— he is as like as possible his print. I 
forget if I told you that Walter has joined 
his regiment, the 18th Hussars, at Cork : 
he left us in July. We hear very often 
from him, and he writes (what I should 
not have expected, as he has had no prac- 
tice) most capital letters. He has apart- 



64 SCOTT LETTERS 

merits at the Barracks, and writes a most 
amusing account of his house keeping. 
It is said that the regiment's next quarters 
will be Dublin, so I do not think we will see 
Walter for a couple of years : you may be 
sure we miss him very very much. Charles 
is still at home, and, I believe, is to 
be at the High School in winter ; after- 
wards Papa thinks of sending him to some 
school abroad. Papa is in perfect health ; 
indeed I never saw him better, even in 
his days of health : he has given Anne and 
me the most beautiful new poney between 
us ; it is a bright bay with a long black 
tail that reaches the ground ; we call her 
Queen Mab. You will be sorry to hear 
that poor old Lady Wallace 1 died the 
other day, to the distress of the whole 
family. Poor Mrs. William Erskine 2 died 

1 Lady Wallace was a pony. To the Scotts all their 
'lower animals,' their dogs and horses at least, were on the 
level of human beings, and treated as members of the 
family. The last direction which Scott, when leaving 
Abbotsford for Italy, gave Laidlaw, was to take care of the 
dogs, and keep them separate should there be occasion for 
quarrel. 

2 Mrs. William Erskine was the ' excellent wife' of William 



SCOTT LETTERS 65 

a fortnight ago in Cumberland, where they 
had taken her for her health, which has 
been declining for long : what a dreadful 
loss she will be to her family. So Catherine 

Hume 1 is really married to Doctor ? 

I think it is the very best thing she could 
do, for he is a very good and a very sensible 
young man, and most likely to put any 
nonsense out of her head. We were very 
anxious to be in town for the musical 
festival, but I do not think we will be 
able to make it out, but we will be in 
Edinburgh for certain upon the 12th of 
November. Miss Rutherford and Eliza 
Russell have been staying nearly six weeks 
with us ; they left us yesterday, and I am 
happy to say that the former seemed a 
good deal better for her visit. I believe 



Erskine, afterwards Lord Kineddar : she died at Lowood on 
Windermere. (Lockhart, vol. iii., pp. 321, 329, chap, xlv.) 
Her husband was an intimate friend of Scott's, and his 
' literary referee ' ; a trusted adviser, whose ' refined taste 
and gentle manners rendered his critical alliance highly 
valuable.' (Lockhart, vol. i., p. 378, chap, xiii.) 

1 This young lady, who was to be improved by marriage, 
was the sister of Agnes Hume {see Letters xx. and xxu.) 
and of Joseph Hume {see Letter vn.). 

E 



66 SCOTT LETTERS 

that there is some little change for the 
better upon Jane Russell. All here join 
me in best wishes and best love to you, 
and believe me to remain yours truly 
affectionately, 

Charlotte Sophia Scott. 



XI 

My dear Miss Millar, — You will be 
much shocked to hear of the severe family 
losses we have met with in this last fort- 
night — we have lost in that short space 
of time our uncle and aunt (the Doctor 
and Miss Rutherford) 1 and poor Grand- 
mamma. 2 

Grandmamma was seized about a fort- 

1 Doctor Rutherford and Miss Christian Rutherford were 
the brother and sister of Scott's mother, and therefore 
grand-uncle and grand-aunt of Sophia. She uses the terms 
e uncle' and c aunt ' with no real inaccuracy, or with the 
inaccuracy only of affection, identifying her father and 
herself. See Scott's letters to his brother, and to Lady 
Louisa Stewart, for an account of the losses in the year 
(1819) of dear friends and relations, losses which had made 
him 'bankrupt in Society.' (Lockhart, vol. iii., pp. 347-53, 
chap, xlvi.) 

2 Scott's mother, Anne Rutherford, was the eldest 
daughter of Dr. John Rutherford, Professor of Medicine in 



SCOTT LETTERS 67 

night ago with palsy, and lingered for 
about ten days, not suffering, but from 

the University of Edinburgh, and grand-daughter of Sir 
John Swinton of Swinton whose family ' for antiquity and 
honourable alliances may rank with any in Britain.' She 
transmitted to her favourite son her pride in long descent, 
e a light and happy temper of mind, and a strong turn to 
study poetry and works of imagination. She was sincerely 
devout, but her religion was, as became her sex, of a cast 
less austere than his father's.' It was tempered by ' a turn 
for literature quite uncommon among the ladies of the 
time.' Under her encouragement Scott, at the age of seven, 
read aloud Shakespeare's plays and the Arabian Nights in 
the family circle ; and even acted plays occasionally in the 
dining-room after the lessons of the day were over, taking 
among other parts that of the Duke of Gloucester in 
Richard III., on the ground ' that the limp would do well 
enough to represent the hump.' She was a great genea- 
logist like all Scottish ladies of gentle birth, and like them, 
or most of them, a Jacobite. She was fond of telling the 
story of Murray of Broughton's teacup, which her husband 
'tossed out upon the pavement.' Her husband, though of 
sterner mould, resembled her in many ways. His face wore 
f an expression of sweetness of temper which was not fal- 
lacious ; his manners were rather formal, but full of genuine 
kindness, especially when exercising the duties of hospi- 
tality.' Like his son, in matters of business, he conducted 
himself with the simplicity of Uncle Toby. He too, his 
son suspects, ' when immured in his solitary room, and 
supposed to be immersed in professional researches,' was 
engaged, not with Tasso and Ariosto, but with authors of 
works partly of fiction of another kind, Spottiswoode and 
Knox. 'In political principles he was a steady friend to 
freedom, with a bias, however, to the monarchical part of 
our constitution,' no doubt a Jacobite whose ' feelings were 
contrary to his opinions,' as were his son's about Mary 



68 SCOTT LETTERS 

the first deprived of speech and the use of 
one side, so that we thought it a great 
mercy when she was released, as it was too 
evident she never could get round. The 
day after she was taken ill her brother the 
doctor was seeing her, to all appearance 
in perfect health, but upon the following 
morning, as he was waiting for the carriage, 
he dropped down quite dead with gout in 
the stomach. Of course his death was not 
told to Miss Rutherford, or Grandmamma, 
and there was no occasion for it, as she 
died the morning after. 1 think that 
there is hardly another instance of two 
sisters and a brother dying within a few 
days of each other, and none of them 
knowing of the others' death. Poor Miss 
Russell 1 has been very ill, but we trust 
that, now all is over, she will in time 
recover. We heard from Walter the other 



Queen of Scots. It is an interesting- and frequently debated 
question, whether great men 'take after' their fathers or 
their mothers ; Scott seems to have taken after both to 
some degree, but most after his mother. (Lockhart, vol. i., 
chaps, i. and ii.) 
1 See note 1, p. 62. 



SCOTT LETTERS 69 

day. He was quite well and very busy. 
Of course all this will prevent Papa's going 
to London till March, 1 as he could not go 
to Court in such deep mourning as he 
must wear for his mother. Papa is going 
along with Scott of Gala 2 to raise a corps of 
sharp shooters at Abbotsford, and he finds 
that, instead of only raising a couple of 
hundred men, he could as easily raise twice 
as many — in short he has at present a 
military fever, I should rather say phrensy, 
as he can talk of nothing else but his 
corps. 3 

1 Scott went to London in March 1820, ' for the purpose of 
receiving his baronetcy, which he had been prevented from 
doing in the spring of the preceding year by his own illness, 
and again at Christmas by accumulated family afflictions.' 
(Lockhart, vol. iii., p. 371, chap, xlviii.) 

2 John Scott of Gala, his kinsman and neighbour, who 
went with him to see the field of Waterloo in 1815. (Lock- 
hart, vol. iii., p. 4, chap, xxxv.) Major Scott met Scott 
in London in 1831, when he was on his way to Naples, and 
has recorded some pathetic reminiscences of the change in 
his appearance, and of mental and physical decay. 

3 The political condition of the West of Scotland, then 
alarming enough, though the danger was exaggerated by 
ridiculous reports, excited in Scott the ' phrensy ' men- 
tioned here. He was ' a fighting man ' and a strong anti- 
revolutionist ; as ready to meet the ' Radicals,' as he had 
been ready to meet the French fifteen or twenty years 
before, when ' Walter Scott was Paymaster, Quartermaster, 



70 SCOTT LETTERS 

I will write very soon, but am very busy 
at this moment, and believe me to remain 
most affectionately yours, 

C. Sophia Scott. 

39 Castle Street, 
Wednesday , December 29, 1819- 

Poor Grandmamma is buried to-day. 

and Secretary of the Midlothian Yeomanry Cavalry Corps. 
He'writes to his son Walter, in Decemher 1819, a humorous 
account of 'Master Charles, the only specimen of youthful 
manhood at home, sleeping with an old broadsword hanging 
up at his bed head, which, to be the more ready for service, 
hath no sheath.' It was ready for service against the band 
of Western Radicals who had ' a plan to seize on a thousand 
stand of arms, as well as a depot of ammunition in Edin- 
burgh Castle,' and against the fifty thousand pitmen and 
colliers of Northumberland, who were reported to be ready 
to join the Glasgow rebels. It is easy for us, after the 
event, to laugh at these alarms ; but those who remembered 
the French Revolution, distant from them only a quarter 
of a century, may be excused for feeling some anxiety. 
Distress and discontent prevailed not in Glasgow only, but 
in London, Birmingham, and Manchester. It was not 
known, at least to the Tories of those days, that there were 
other methods of meeting nascent revolution than f a whiff 
of grape shot.' A passage may here be quoted which throws 
light on the characters of Lady Scott and her two daughters. 
'Anne is so much afraid of the disaffected that last night, 
returning with Sophia from Portobello, where they had 
been dancing with the Scotts of Harden, she saw a Radical 
in every man that the carriage passed. Sophia is of course 
wise and philosophical, and Mamma has not yet been able 



SCOTT LETTERS 71 

XII 

My dear Miss Millar, — I received 
your kind letter, and you see am not very 
long in answering it, although I have little 
or nothing to write about, having been 
living very very quiet. I am quite 
ashamed to say, in answer to your en- 
quiries concerning my Italian studies, 
that at present they are quite at a stop, 
and, although with the new year I made 
the customary good resolutions, still the 
new leaf remains to turn ; whenever that 
great event takes place I will let you 
know ; in the mean time you must let 
me know how you come on, and if you 
find it easy. We heard from Walter the 
other day ; he was well, and hoped to meet 
Papa in London upon the 12th of March, 
and to come down here along with him to 
pay us a visit : you may be sure how happy 
we are at the thoughts of seeing him again 
among us. There has been new views 

to conceive why we do not catch and hang the whole of 
them untried and unconvicted. (Lockhart, vol. iii., p. 341, 
chap, xlvi.) 



72 SCOTT LETTERS 

with regard to Charles, which I think 
will give you pain, as it has done me. 
Papa has got the offer of a writership in 
India for him, 1 which is the sure way of 
making money, as the moment they touch 
Indian Shore they get 5 hundred a year, 
and, if they are at all industrious, may 
make any money. Such an offer as this 
Papa does not think his duty to refuse, 
more especially as Charles, though ex- 
tremely clever, is also extremely idle, and 
it would be quite out of the question to 
expect he would turn out a good lawyer 
in this town, with so many opportunities of 
seeing and being in company, and so little 
taste for studying to the purpose. How- 
ever, if he does go, it will not be for three 
years, and many things may happen before 
that passes over ; besides, with the recom- 
mendations he can get, if he is in the 
least industrious, he may come home in 

1 'Through the kindness of Mr. Croker, Scott received 
from the late Earl Bathurst, then Colonial Secretary of 
State, the offer of an appointment in the Civil Service of 
the East India Company for his second son. (Lockhart, 
vol. iii., p. 361, chap, xlvii.) 



SCOTT LETTERS 78 

two years with a very handsome fortune, 
whereas at the bar many a lawyer is only 
beginning after that space of time to be 
making 2 hundred a year, and that with 
much toil. I must say that it needs many 
many good reasons to make one consent 
to parting with a brother for so long a 
time. You will be very very sorry to hear 
that poor Eliza Russell is no more ; she 
died yesterday morning of a sort of nervous 
low fever, brought on at first from exces- 
sive fatigue in attending her aunt. I do 
not think it possible that Anne and Jane 
will survive many weeks, or even days, 
they are both in such a state, Jane de- 
prived of speech and the use of her limbs, 
and Anne lying almost quite [helpless] l 
from fatigue and anxiety. 

I hope that you will write soon, and 
believe me to remain yours most affec- 
tionately, 

Charlotte Sophia Scott. 

39 Castle Street, 
Friday, January 21, 1820. 

1 Blank in the original. 



74 SCOTT LETTERS 

XIII 

My dear Miss Millar, — I received 
your kind letter two evenings since, 1 and 
answer it thus soon, as I wish to be the 
first to tell you that I have at last made 
up my mind to marry Mr. Lockhart, and 
I know how sincerely you interest yourself 
in anything that may happen to me, and 
how affectionate your wishes are for my 
happiness. Anything that I may say to 
prepossess you in his favour, in the present 
state of my feelings towards him, might 
appear to you overdrawn, but Papa has the 
highest opinion of him, and his opinion is 
worth all the world to me. That I might 
have made a much higher marriage in point 
of rank and wealth I have little doubt, but 
I am not one who can be persuaded that 

1 This letter is not dated. It must have been written 
soon after the middle of February 1820, when, as Lockhart 
writes (vol. iii., p. 302, chap, xlvii.), ' it was arranged that I 
should marry his (Scott's) daughter in the course of the 
spring.' The marriage took place in Castle Street on 
April 29, 1820, 'more Scotico in the evening.' It would 
be impertinent to oiFer any comments on this letter, beyond 
the remark that it shows Sophia's affection for her old 
governess. 



SCOTT LETTERS 75 

happiness can depend upon these two 
alone. I hope that you will be in town 
sometime soon, that I might introduce 
you to Lockhart, as I am sure, at least I 
hope, that you will like him. Papa goes 
to London in March, and expects to be 
down before the end of April, and to 
bring Walter with him. I am very sorry 
to hear that Miss Tovey is so unwell, but 
would fain hope that the fine weather 
coming in may be of service to her. Poor 
Miss Russell is rather better, but still in a 
deplorable state of health. Miss Anne is a 
little stronger : if they could but get well 
enough to be removed to some other house, 
it would be a great step towards their re- 
covery, as everything puts them in mind of 
the friends they have lost. 

Papa and Mamma, Anne and Charles, 
join me in best love to you, and believe 
me, my dear Miss Millar, ever to remain 
yours most affectionately, 

Charlotte Sophia Scott. 

39 Castle Street, 
Siinday morning. 



76 SCOTT LETTERS 

XIV 

May 1820 (P). 1 

My dear Miss Millar, — Mr. Lockhart 
and myself have arrived this moment 
here to remain all night, and I could not 
possibly pass through Stirling without 
making an attempt to see you. Would 
you then, when you receive this, put on 
your hat and come to the inn and see me. 

I remain, dear Miss Millar, your affec- 
tionate friend and pupil, 

C. Sophia Lockhart. 

Wednesday evening. 

XV 

Abbotsford, 
4> November. 2 

My dear Miss Millar, — Papa has had 
a letter from Mrs. Eolton, who seems to 

1 This letter also is undated ; it may have been written 
soon after Sophia's marriage. She is still Miss Millar's 
pupil ; but any inference as to date is doubtful, for five 
years later Mrs. Lockhart is still Miss Millar's pupil. (Sec 
Letter xxi.) 

2 Between the dates of this and of the thirteenth letter 
many things had happened. Scott had become f Sir Walter.' 
f The baronetcy was conferred on him, not in consequence 



SCOTT LETTERS 77 

be quite uncertain whether you accepted 
her proposal or not, so Papa thinks you 
had better let Mrs. Bolton know by writing 
to her yourself. Charles left us some 
weeks ago to a school in South Wales. 
Mr. Williams 1 is the name of his master; he 

of any ministerial suggestion, but by the King personally, 
and of his own unsolicited motion, and when the poet kissed 
his hand, he said to him, " I shall always reflect with pleasure 
on Sir Walter Scott's having been the first creation of my 
reign.'" After his baronetcy was gazetted on April 2nd 
he hurried home, for he was anxious to have his daughter 
married before the unlucky month of May began. (Lockhart, 
vol. iii., pp. 370-8, chap, xlvii.) Soon after his daughter's 
marriage he received from Oxford and from Cambridge the 
offer of the honorary degree of Doctor in Civil Law, an 
offer which, to his regret, he was not then, nor afterwards, 
able to accept. He perhaps, as well as Lady Scott, was 
'quite tired of people' before the end of that hospitable 
summer and autumn, though the genial host concealed 
his weariness. 

This is the first of Anne Scott's letters published in 
this collection, and shows that ' spirit of satire ' which, 
five years later, her father affected to deplore in the 
'honest downright good Scots lass.' She was now nearly 
eighteen, an age at which clever girls find their tongues, 
and use them freely. Who Miss Ramsay was I have not 
inquired : the epithet applied to her may have been con- 
tributed by Walter, but the gloss is likely to have been 
Anne's. 

1 Mr. Williams, Vicar of Lampeter and Archdeacon, was 
four years later appointed Rector of the Edinburgh 
Academy. He had been Lockhart's intimate friend and 
companion at Oxford. (Vol. iii., p. 420, chap. 1.) 



78 SCOTT LETTERS 

is strongly recommended by Lockhart and 

Mr. (?). I was very sorry to part 

with him, but it will be of so much con- 
sequence to himself to be from home, that 
it would be wrong to wish for him to 
remain. Sophia and Lockhart spent six 
weeks here this summer; she went to 
Edinburgh a short time ago, in which part 
of the world we will see her soon, as we 
leave this in a few days. Lord and Lady 
Compton left us yesterday ; also the Miss 
Baillies. I like Miss Joana Baillie ex- 
tremely ; no one would ever guess by her 
behaviour that she was an authoress. Sir 
Alexander Don and a great pack of people 
come here to-day ; Mamma is quite tired 
of people, as we have never been alone all 
the summer. Mr. and Mrs. Skene have 
gone abroad for a year or two. Miss Skene 1 
paid us a visit this summer and is still the 



1 Miss Skene was the daughter of James Skene of 
Rubislaw. She lived at Oxford for the last thirty years of 
her long life, and was known there for her good works. 
She was a Scots lady of the highest type, combining kindli- 
ness with shrewdness, the terror of impostors, and a wise 
helper of all who deserved help. 



SCOTT LETTERS 79 

same. We had a letter from Walter the 
other day ; he is quite well and very gay 
in Dublin, as he has got in the first set. 
He saw Miss Ramsay, still, though very 
much against her will, a blooming Virgin. 
I must now conclude my epistle : I hope 
you will write to me soon. Papa and 
Mamma unite in best love, and believe me 
to remain yours affectionately, 

Anne Scott. 

P.S.— Direct to Mrs. Bolton, East India 
College, Hertford. 

1820. 

XVI 

49 (Great) King Street (Edinburgh), 
Monday morning, March 26, 1821. 

My dear Miss Millar, — I am afraid 
you must have thought me very unkind 
never to have answered your kind letter of 
enquiry that I received so very long ago, 
but you will cease to be angry when I tell 
you that this is only the second time I 



80 SCOTT LETTERS 

have taken up the pen since I was confined, 
and for two months before. In spite of all 
my bad health before, I think you would 
say that my little boy 1 is as pretty a baby as 
you ever saw, and, what is still better, he is 
very healthy. Papa has not returned from 
London where he went to see my aunt 
Carpenter, who wished much to return to 

1 The little boy was John Hugh Lockhart, the ' Hugh 
Littlejohn' of the Tales of a Grandfather. There are few, if 
any, passages in Sir Walter's Diary more pathetic than 
those in which he writes of his sorrow for the sufferings and 
approaching death of his beloved grandson, whose health 
began to fail in 1825, and who died in 1831. 'The poor 
child's voice,' Sir Walter writes, ' was day and night in his 
ear.' He speaks of him as ' a child almost too good for this 
world ; beautiful in features, and, though spoiled by every 
one, having one of the sweetest tempers, aswellasthequickest 
intellect, I ever saw ; a sense of humour quite extraordinary 
in a child ; and, owing to the general notice which was 
taken of him, a great deal more information than suited his 
hours.' Johnnie must have reminded him of another gifted 
and short-lived child, whom, years before, he used to carry 
to and from Castle Street in his plaid, f Pet Marjorie,' 
authoress of an inimitable poem on a domestic tragedy. To 
his affection for Hugh Littlejohn we owe a history which 
may not be scientific, and might have been condemned by 
Lord Acton, had he criticised it, along with Carlyle's French 
Revolution, and Froude's and Macaulay's histories. Sir 
Walter would have been ' justified' in good company; but, 
if called up for judgment, he would probably have been 
pardoned, as a grandfather. (Lockhart, vol. iv., p. 487, 
chap, lxx.) 



SCOTT LETTERS 81 

Scotland with him, but she is in such 
indifferent health that Dr. Baillie will not 
hear of her moving till summer, and Papa 
is to be with us about the beginning of 
next month. We are very anxious for his 
arrival, as the baby is not to be christened 
till he comes. I hope that we are to see 
you sometime soon in Edinburgh ; is there 
any chance of it ? After Papa has been 
here, and as soon as I am strong enough, 
Lockhart, myself, and the baby, are going 
to Germiston for a fortnight, but must be 
back at the terrible moving time, as we 
have bought a most capital house from 
top to bottom in Northumberland Street. 
Charles is quite well, and likes his master 
very much. Walter is still in Ireland, and 
at present has the command of a small 
detachment at Cappoquin in the county of 
Waterford. Lockhart joins me in best 
wishes to you, and believe me, dear Miss 
Millar, to remain very affectionately yours, 

Charlotte Sophia Lockhart. 



82 SCOTT LETTERS 



XVII 

Chiefswood, 1 Melrose, 
Sunday. 

My dear Miss Millar, — I am truly 
sorry to hear you have been so very un- 
comfortable with Mrs. Eules, but, as it was 
the case, I think you did quite right in 
leaving her as soon as possible, and we 
must hope for better luck another time. I 
think you should write to ask your friends 
to enquire for you, and Mrs. Ross 2 amongst 
the rest, as she is very likely to hear of 

1 Chiefswood was a cottage near Melrose, where Lockhart 
and his wife took up their residence in the summer of 1821 ; 
the first of several seasons which they remembered as the 
happiest in their lives. It was within easy reach of Abbots- 
ford, and Sir Walter used to stay there while he superin- 
tended the completion of the stately house which was to 
take the place of the farm-house which stood ' on the scene 
of Kerr of Cessford's slaughter.' (Lockhart, vol. ii., p. 176, 
chap, xxiii.) 

2 Mrs. Ross was the Catherine Hume of Letter x. ; now 
much improved with ' all nonsense put out of her head ' 
by the ' sensible young man' whom she had married. Dr. 
and Mrs. Ross visited Sir Walter a few weeks before his 
death. With some difficulty he recognised the doctor, but 
on hearing Mrs. Ross's voice exclaimed at once ' Isn't that 
Kate Hume?' (Lockhart, vol. v., p. 425, chap, lxxxiii.) 



SCOTT LETTERS 83 

something that may suit, and you have not 
a more sincere friend. I will write to her 
soon myself, and will mention you in it, but 
1 think you should write yourself. The 
Humes have gone a little tour to England, 
but will be home soon. Mrs. Ross is to be 
quite stationary in George Street this sum- 
mer, and herself and little girl are quite 
well and strong; indeed I never saw her 
looking better. I wish much you had been 
in Edinburgh during the King's visit, 1 as, 
independent of the feeling that the old 
Halls at Holyrood were lighted up again 
after a lapse of so many years, the two 
processions were quite magnificent, and 

1 The King came to Edinburgh on August 15, 1822. The 
Cardinal of York was dead, and the stoutest Jacobites 
transferred their allegiance from the Stuarts to the House of 
Hanover ; some of them reluctantly, for the only member 
of that house who had touched the soil of Scotland, was e the 
cruel conqueror of Culloden, the "butcher" Cumberland.' 
Sir Walter held that George iv. acquired a title to the 
Throne, de jure, on the death of the last descendant of 
James vn. of Scotland ; and welcomed his King with an 
enthusiasm which has provoked both sneers and laughter. 
For a defence of his loyalty to one who was in part a Stuart, 
see Lockhart, chaps, lxvi. and lxxxiv. Sir Walter laughed 
himself at the fate of the glass out of which his Majesty had 
drunk his health. 



84 SCOTT LETTERS 

all conducted with such order. We met, 
though every part of the streets were 
crowded to excess, and, what appeared 
very remarkable, every person well dressed. 1 
The King said to Papa that 'Never King 
was better received by his people, and 
never King felt it more.' He said he never 
was so happy in his life, and goes back with 
a very grand idea of his Scottish subjects. 
He wrote a letter to Papa expressing how 
very much he was pleased, and thanking 
him in the most handsome manner for the 
trouble he had taken. 

Brother Walter did not come home, as 
there was not time for him, but Charles 
was so fortunate as to be down for the 
holidays, and remained during the whole 
fun ; he and cousin Walter acted the part 
of pages to Sir Alex. Keith in the two 
processions, and performed their parts to 
admiration. Charles is grown very tall, and 
looked quite beautiful in his page's dress. 

We came out here four days ago, and 

1 The reader may interpret and amend this obscure 
passage as he pleases. 



SCOTT LETTERS 85 

remain till the 12th of November. All 
this gaiety has cut up our summer very 
much. Papa and Mamma only came to 
Abbotsford the day before yesterday. The 
new house at Abbotsford is up to the top 
story and really is quite a palace. 

Baby is quite well, and walks quite 
stoutly now. Let me hear from you very 
soon, and, if I can do anything to forward 
your views, let me know. I shall be upon 
the look out, but have a bad chance of 
hearing anything suitable here. With 
most affectionate love, believe me to 
remain very affectionately yours, 

C. Sophia Lockhart. 

September 3, 1822. 

XVIII 

Abbotsford, 
Monday, 8ih September 1823. 1 

My dear Miss Millar, — Many thanks 
to you for your letter ; it gave us all great 

1 This letter was written soon after ' one of the happiest 
months of Scott's life' and of his family's. Anne, now 



86 SCOTT LETTERS 

pleasure to know that you were so com- 
fortable with your friend Mrs. Bathurst. 
We have had a great many people staying 
here this summer, and amongst others the 
Miss Edgeworths. I like Miss E. very 
much, though she talks a great deal, and 
does not care to hear others talk. There 
was a dreadful scene at parting. 1 The great 
Maria nearly went into fits ; she had taken 
such a fancy to us all. Her sisters were 
very nice girls, both clever, and one very 
pretty. There is here at present a gentle- 
man who has been farther in Greece than 
any Englishman has been known to go, 
and has been present at the dread - 

nearly twenty, is full of girlish fun and paiadox. Her 
utterances explain themselves. She had, by this time, 
considerable experience of the world and of society of 
various kinds ; far more at least than is usually within 
the reach of girls of her age ; and was a keen observer, 
humorous and malicious in the French, but not in the 
English sense, as her later letters show. 

1 Miss Edgeworth ' never saw Abbotsford again during 
his (Sir Walter's) life.' In Lockhart (vol. iii., pp. 120-35, 
chap. lix. ) there is a description of Miss Edgeworth's visit, and 
of one paid by 'another honoured and welcome guest,' Mr. 
J. L. Adolphus, which gives a charming picture of Sir 
Walter and his family at this happy time. Anne's letter 
adds something to the picture of the ' great Maria.' 



SCOTT LETTERS 87 

ful massacres of the Greeks, and saw a 
hundred of the most beautiful Turkish 
women drowned. A most blessed country 
to live in. This happy man was also a 
long time a prisoner of the Arabs. 

We had a very happy family party for a 
month this summer, as both my brothers 
and my cousin * were here, and the Lock- 
harts, but I am sorry to say that they 
have now all gone. Walter to Sandhurst, 
Charles to Wales, and my cousin to Addis- 
combe. I do not think you would know 
Charles ; he has grown so tall, and is really 
like what he is so ambitious to be, a man. 
Him and his dear friend, William Surtees, 2 
left us about a week ago. Walter has had 
another return of ague, but is now quite 
well, and likes Sandhurst very much in- 

1 Walter, son of Thomas Scott, third brother of Sir 
Walter. Thomas Scott was once thought to be the author 
of Waverley. He was f a man of infinite humour and excel- 
lent parts,' but could not have written Waverley. ' (Lockhart, 
vol. i., p. 10, chap, i., and vol. iii., pp. 386-90, chap, xlviii.) 

2 William Surtees, a school-fellow of Charles Scott's at 
Lampeter and his chief friend at Oxford, son of Sui'tees of 
Mainsforth, a learned antiquarian and an early and dear 
friend of Sir Walter's. (Lockhart, vol. iii., p. 520, chap, liv., 
and vol. ii., p. 120, chap, xx.) 



88 SCOTT LETTERS 

deed. I suppose Mrs. Bathurst's son is 
also in the senior department. Lockhart 
and Sophia are quite well, and as for little 
Johnny, he has grown so stout and so 
healthy, ever since he has got all his teeth. 
He was very very ill in the early part of 
the summer ; indeed we were very much 
alarmed about him, so you may think what 
pleasure it gives us to see him so much 
improved in health. Johnny is in a fair 
way to be spoilt. Were you not very sorry 
to hear of poor John Macdonald's death ? x 
There is only one son left, who is in very 
bad health ; so you may think what great 
distress the poor Macdonalds are in ; be- 
sides, poor John was such a favourite with 
all his family. We had all the Buccleuch 
family here the other day, and Lady 
Todella's 2 intended bridegroom, the Hon. 
Capt. Cust. I must own I was a little 

1 Possibly a son of the Laird of Staffa, whom Sir Walter 
visited in 1810, on his first voyage to the Hebrides. 
(Lockhart, vol. ii., p. 133, chap, xxi.) 

2 ( Lady Todella/ a charming name, due to my copyist, 
was Lady Isabella, as Mrs. Maxwell-Scott informs me. I 
have had the name thus printed, as being very creditable to 
its author. 



SCOTT LETTERS 89 

surprised when I first saw him, as he is 
oldish, very plain, and looks as if he could 
be woss. The young Duke has grown 
much taller and stronger; he is really a 
very delightful young man. As for Lady 
Anne, she has grown quite a beauty. A 
new set of teeth has improved her to such 
a degree that Miss Russel finds herself a 
good deal better. She is at Lucia just 
now. One of the old Miss Fraser Tytlers 
has married a cousin of her own. They 
will be very poor, but it is all they have, as 
they have been engaged for eleven years. 
I wonder they did not change their 
minds. I am sure I would, particularly if 
I was the gentleman. Now I must really 
stop. 1 Papa and Mamma beg to be kindly 
remembered to you, and believe me, my 
dear Miss Millar, to remain yours affec- 
tionately, 

Anne Scott. 

I am sorry I have no news for you, but 
I am afraid that I must invent, if I was to 

1 Ves, indeed. 



90 SCOTT LETTERS 

attempt to tell any news. Except, by the 
bye, that Abbotsford is lighted with Gas. 
You can have no idea how beautiful it 
looks ; but the first time that Mrs. Bathurst 
goes to Scotland you must come and spend 
some time here, and you will see Abbots- 
ford much changed. We have got into the 
new drawing-room, and also into some of 
the bedrooms. I must now conclude. I 
am afraid that you will not be able to read 
this, as I write it in such haste. I hope 
you will write soon, and tell us how you 
are coming on. Sophia intends writing to 
you very soon. I gave her your letter, you 
will be happy to hear. 



XIX 



Abbotsford, 
March 10, 1824. 



My dear Miss Millar, — I am quite 
ashamed when I think of the time that has 
elapsed since I have received your letter, 
particularly as Sophia wished me to return 



SCOTT LETTERS 91 

you her very best thanks for the cap you 
were so good as to send her, and, though 
she has been so unfortunate as to lose the 
poor little baby it was intended for, yet 
nevertheless she is very sensible of your 
kindness in thinking of her. I am sure 
you will be happy to hear that she is now 
quite well, and has recovered both her 
health and spirits. Lockhart goes to 
London immediately, and Sophia and 
Johnny are to come here. Poor little 
Johnny has been very ill all winter, but is 
now a great deal better, and the medical 
people have now no fear for him, though 
very great care will be required for a long 
time before he regains his strength. Walter 
was with us for six weeks at Christmas, 
and Charles has just come down from 
Oxford, where he has been entering his 
name. 1 He remains with us till October, 
when he returns to Oxford. Papa finds 
Walter much improved in his studies, and 
is quite delighted with him. I think you 
would find him much changed, as he has 

1 At Brasenose College. 



92 SCOTT LETTERS 

grown very tall and stout. Edinburgh has 
been very gay. I went out a great deal. 
We had a very gay ball given by thirty 
Bachelors : it was a Fancy one, and a great 
many people went in character ; I however 
did not. Charles Sharpe 1 was admirable ; 
he went as his Grandfather, and Lord 
Castlereagh as a Caucasian. By the bye, 
Lord Castlereagh is a person that all Edin- 
burgh is running after just now. He has 
spent the winter there by way of attending 
the classes, or rather the balls, and as he is 
very handsome, very good-humoured, and 
very fond of dancing and flirting, you may 
think that he is a great favourite. Mrs. 
Ross is quite well, and has recovered her 
fit of goodness, and as for Agnes, the last 
time I saw her she was in blue satin with a 
silver flower in her hair, and had even some 
thoughts of going to the Bachelors' Ball. 
Is Mrs. Bathurst gone to Bath? I am 
afraid that you will find it dull at North 

1 Charles Kirpatrick Sharpe, the wit, antiquary, artist, 
'minor' poet, and man of fashion, whom Sir Walter de- 
scribes in his Diary, November 20, 1825. (Lockhart, vol. iv., 
pp. 351-2, chap, lxv.) He was a Scottish Horace Walpole. 



SCOTT LETTERS 93 

Creek, particularly as you say the neigh- 
bourhood is disagreeable, for, though the 
country is very delightful in summer, yet 
in winter it is very sombre, unless one has 
society. However, I am quite glad to get 
out here, as I am quite tired of dissipa- 
tion ; besides, I have really been far from 
well 1 this winter with constant colds, and, 
what is more wearing out than anything, 
constant toothache. I do not know if I 
told you that my aunt, Mrs. Thomas Scott, 
and my cousins have been in Scotland for 
six months. They have been of course a 
great deal at Abbotsford, and I like my 
cousins very much. Anne, the eldest, is not 
handsome, but what one would call very 
comely ; she is a very sensible and well-in- 
formed girl. Eliza 2 is a very nice little 
girl, and will, I think, be very pretty. As 

1 Alas ! her health was failing, though she was still 
bright and cheerful. 

2 About this cousin Eliza, Mrs. Maxwell-Scott writes : 
' My cousin, Baroness von Appell (grand-daughter of Sir 
Walter's brother Thomas), will be one of those most in- 
terested in these letters. Her mother was the Eliza men- 
tioned by my great-aunt Anne in one letter, and was a most 
clever and delightful old lady, whose reading aloud of 
Emma is one of the remembrances of my girlhood.' 



94 SCOTT LETTERS 

for Mrs. Thomas Scott, she has been every- 
thing that is kind and agreeable, but heaven 
knows how long it will last. I have no 
news for you, neither Births or marriages. 
We are very busy painting the house just 
now, and Papa will soon have the pleasure 
of removing the Books to the new Library. 
The Pringles of Haining and Yair * are all 
flourishing, and so are all the Fergusons. 
I must now conclude. Papa and Mamma 
desire to be kindly remembered to you, 
and believe me to remain, my dear Miss 
Millar, yours affectionately, 

A. Scott. 



XX 

Wednesday, 23rd November 1824, 
Castle Street. 

My dear Miss Millar, — Many thanks 
to you for your letter. I should have 
written to you before this, but I very 

1 Yair lay a few miles down the Tweed from Ashestiel. 
The Pringles were intimate friends of the Scotts. 



SCOTT LETTERS 95 

foolishly lost your address. We have 
been here for rather more than a week, and 
I think I never saw Papa and Mamma in 
better health than they are at present. 
Sophia, I am sorry to say, had an attack 
of inflammation about two months ago, 
and, though she is quite well, yet it has 
left her thin, and apt to catch cold on the 
least change of weather ; however, I trust 
that with great care she will soon be quite 
well. As for Johnny, he is as well as 
possible, and has not had for many months 
those alarming attacks of fever which he 
was so subject to, and he is, I assure you, a 
great beauty, 1 and as great a wit. He 
makes Lockhart very idle, for he does 
nothing but play with him all day, and 
teach him all sort of absurd speeches. 
Charles is at Oxford, very important as 
you may suppose, as this is his first term. 
He says he likes Oxford very much. 
Walter's examination takes place at Sand- 
hurst next month. He comes down here 
immediately after, but whether he is to 

1 Sec note on p. 80. 



96 SCOTT LETTERS 

get a troop in his Regiment, or to go as 
Aid de Camp to Sir Frederick Adam, I 
do not know, as he cannot make up his 
mind which is best. Papa has gone to-day 
to attend poor Mrs. Rutherford's funeral, 
who died very suddenly last week. 1 She 
made herself very unhappy the last few 
years by her very peevish, unhappy, 
temper. I should think it must be rather 
a relief than otherwise, her death to her 
daughters. What a dreadful fire has been 
in Edinburgh, but I suppose you have 
read it all in the newspapers. Lockhart 
was out a day and night with the yeo- 
manry, and though he kept his spirits up by 
pouring spirits down, he was very ill after- 
wards from fatigue. It must have been an 
awful sight, the burning of the Church. 
The people here insist that it was all owing 
to Dr. Brunton having subscribed to the 
Musical Festival. 2 There has been the 

1 Anne's grand-aunt. 

2 Dr. Brunton, it was thought, had brought on himself a 
'judgment' for having subscribed to so questionable an 
amusement as a musical festival. The old abhorrence of 
sports and pleasures, described in Old Mortality, was not 



SCOTT LETTERS 97 

most magnificent subscriptions here for 
the poor people who have been burnt out, 
so that they will be richer for their burn- 
ing. I am sorry to hear that you do not 
like the part of the country you are in, and 
also that you find it necessary to change 
your situation. I hope you will come to 
Scotland before you fix yourself in another. 
I think you will find a great change in 
Abbotsford. The library and drawing- 
room are now finished and furnished, and 
are both magnificent. The entrance Hall 
is very large, and fitted up with armour 
and painted glass. It really is very strik- 
ing. We had a very great many people 
here this last summer. Lady Compton 
and her children spent some weeks with 
us. She is, if possible, improved in her 
musical studies since her residence abroad, 
but we have had an immense deal of good 
music this last year, and have got such a 
magnificent piano, which stands in the 

extinct, though waning, in the Edinburgh of eighty years 
ago. Compare 'Jupiter' Carlyle's account of the con- 
demnation pronounced by the ' strict party ' on another 
' Moderate ' clergyman, the author of Douglas. 

G 



98 SCOTT LETTERS 

library, which is a most admirable music- 
room. I saw the Humes yesterday look- 
ing remarkably well. Agnes is no longer 
holy and wears a white silk bonnet. As for 
Mrs. Ross, she has had so many children 
she really has not time to be good. Edin- 
burgh is very dull just now. There is 
nothing going on. I shall be glad when 
Christmas comes, when we go to Abbots- 
ford, and are to be very gay and have a 
large party in the house. 1 

The Lockharts are to be with us, and 
my aunt and cousins, Mrs. Thomas Scott's 
family. They really are very nice girls, 
and one of them is very pretty, and I 
think that our good friends, the Miss 
Russells, helped to make up stories of 
Mrs. Thomas Scott, who appears to me to 
be a very agreeable good-natured person. 2 I 
am afraid that you will not be able to read 
this horrid scrawl. I write in great haste, 
as I am engaged to spend a quiet day 

1 For an account given by Captain Basil Hall of this 
Christmas party, see Lockhart, vol. iv., pp. 192-232, chap. lxi. 

2 The fears shown in Letter xix. as to the duration of Mrs. 
Scott's kindness and good nature had been proved groundless. 



SCOTT LETTERS 99 

with Lady Alvanley 1 and her daughters," 
who have just come to town, and I wish 
not to lose a day's post. Sophia means to 
write to you very soon. I hope you will 
not be long in writing, and tell us if you 
have settled any plan for the future. 
Papa and Mamma desire to be kindly 
remembered to you, and believe me, my 
dear Miss Millar, to remain yours very 
sincerely, 

Anne Scott. 



XXI 

My dear Miss Millar, — You must 
excuse these very few lines, as I have so 
very much to write just now, but I wish to 
be the very first to inform you of brother 
Walter's approaching marriage with a 
niece of Lady Ferguson, Miss Jobson of 

1 Lady Alvanley, wife of the statesman and the wit. She 
died a few weeks later than the date of this letter. The 
arrangements for her funeral devolved on Sir Walter. She 
was buried in the Chapel of Holyrood, the service being 
performed by Mr. (afterwards Dean) Ramsay, who read the 
service also at the funeral of Lady Scott. (Lockhart, vol. iv., 
p. 510, chap, lxx.) 



100 SCOTT LETTERS 

Lochore in Fife. 1 The young lady is 
everything we could wish for, very pretty, 
sensible, and has about two thousand a 
year, no bad thing for a young soldier. 
Papa and Mamma are quite delighted at 
the match, and one of them would have 
written, but they are so busy they have 
time for nothing. The marriage takes 
place almost immediately, on account of 
Walter's leave of absence being very 
limited, and they leave this for Cork, 
where Walter's regiment is stationed at 
present. I will write whenever the cere- 
mony is over more fully, but have only 
now time to say we are all well and happy, 
and remain your very affectionate pupil, 

C. Sophia Lockhart. 

25 North Street, Edinburgh, 
ZQth January 1825. 



1 f The pretty heiress of Lochore.' The marriage was 
arranged at the Christmas party mentioned in the last 
letter. See Lockhart, vol. iv., p. 233, chap, lxii., and later, 
in the same chapter, Sir Walter's affectionate and humorous 
letters to his new daughter. 



SCOTT LETTERS 101 



XXII 

Abbotsford, 
Monday morning, April 10, 1825. 

My dear Miss Millar, — Many thanks 
to you for your letter. I have not forgot 
your request of getting letters from Papa, 
and I told him of it, but he says that he is 
afraid that his acquaintances in London 
are not of the sort that would do you any 
good ; and except a very good-natured, 
clever Welsh lady, whose husband is high 
in the Church, he knows of no other. But 
pray write when the time comes that you 
wish for the letters, and perhaps he will be 
able to think of some other ladies. 

Papa, Mamma, and I have been living 
for about a month here very quietly. We 
have the most beautiful weather that ever 
was seen. It is quite summer, and there 
is large plots of hyacinths and jonquils in 
full blow before the door. We are not 
a little anxious to hear of Walter and his 
bride's arrival in Ireland, but I daresay that 



SL0' " 




102 SCOTT LETTERS 

letters have been lost. I have scarcely 
seen my new sister, but by all accounts 
she is very amiable and appears very happy. 
We had a letter from Charles, who is 
staying at Stowe at the Duke of Bucking- 
ham's. How he has got there heaven 
knows. His letter was full of what the 
Duke said to him and what he said to the 
■' Duke. My cousin Walter is at Chatham, 
and gives Papa much satisfaction with the 
manner he has gone on with his studies. 
Mrs. Scott has gone with her two 
daughters to Cheltenham, to live for some 
time with a brother of hers. You will be 
surprised to hear that the Miss Russells 
are really coming to live at Ashestiel. 
Colonel Russell, they say, is on his way 
home by land, and is to meet them in 
Italy. I can scarcely believe that he is 
so near home, for he has so often disap- 
pointed them. I went to see poor Mrs. 
Charles Erskine 1 to-day, and found her 
very ill. I never saw a person so altered 

1 The wife of Charles Erskine, Sheriff-Substitute of 
Selkirkshire. 



SCOTT LETTERS 103 

as she is by grief, and the widow's dress 
makes her look even worse. She will 
not suffer in her income by her husband's 
death, for he died very rich. Your friends 
the Humes are quite well. Agnes is no 
longer good. 1 She dresses in white satin, 
and goes to Balls, and as for Mrs. Ross, 
she is so occupied with her children and 
her own very indifferent health, that she 
scarcely goes to church once a Sunday. 
Our old friend and sinner, Miss Skene, is 
just the same. She is looking about for a 
companion to go to Paris with, and from 
thence to Italy, to bask for some time 
under an Italian sky. I am sorry I have 
no news for you, not even my marriage, 
which, I am told, is fixed for next week, 
to a very rich Mr. Henderson, who has 
bought Eldon Hall ; and now, as I have 
not even seen the bridegroom, it is a 
little hard to have so foolish a report sent 
about. Even Papa is not believed when 

1 This is the third criticism of the Humes and their 
backsliding^. Did Anne and Sophia like them ? The 
good Miss Skene also, it is hinted, was not impeccable. 



104 SCOTT LETTERS 

he denies it, for he is always told that if 
I do not marry Mr. Henderson, I must 
marry Major Norman Pringle, whom we 
used to call the elegant major long ago. 
Talking of elegant people, we have Sir 
Alex. Don, 1 a pattern of Domestic happiness. 
His wife is just going to be confined, and 
he stays always at home to take care of 
her. We had a most beautiful Fancy Ball 
a few weeks ago in Edinburgh, where I 
appeared in a most beautiful Spanish dress. 
I was so fortunate as to be intimate with 
a Spanish lady, who gave me one of her 
dresses to have one made by. It was very 
magnificent, black and gold, with a long 
black veil. My friend, the Donna, was 
quite pleased with my appearance in it. 

1 Sir Alexander Don of Newtown (Letter xv.) was a man 
of fashion much connected with the turf, and somewhat of 
a spendthrift. Sir Walter lived in ' much friendship with 
him,' despite their different habits, for his manners were 
extremely pleasing, and he had a taste for literature and 
the fine arts — f a most accomplished gentleman.' His 
indolence prevented him from turning his real abilities 
' towards acquiring the distinction he might have attained.' 
(Lockhart, vol. iv., p. 498, chap, lxx.) He was the father of 
an actor of some distinction known in London more than 
forty years ago. 



SCOTT LETTERS 105 

Lockhart and Sophia are in Edinburgh, 
and there is no chance of our seeing them 
till May, when we return to town to 
remain till July, when Papa talks of going 
to Ireland for a few weeks, where I shall 
certainly go with him. I must now conclude 
this horrid scrawl. I depend on your 
writing and letting me know when you 
wish for letters. Is there any chance of 
your coming to Scotland this summer? 
You will find us in high order, and amidst 
other improvements, we have got a most 
admirable Pianoforte. Papa and Mamma 
desire to be kindly remembered to you, 
and believe me, my dear Miss Millar, to 
remain yours affectionately, 

A. Scott. 



XXIII 

25 North Street, Edinburgh, 
April 24, 1825. 

My dear Miss Millar, — I would have 
written long since to you, but have been 



106 SCOTT LETTERS 

prevented first by being unwell myself 
with an attack which, when it comes on, 
makes me unfit for anything ; and, lastly, 
my poor little Johnny has been very unwell 
for a fortnight with fever and cough. The 
cough was so violent that the doctor was 
suspicious that itwas Hooping-cough, which 
we had flattered ourselves he had had over, 
but, as within these four days it has left 
him, we think it had been only the Influ- 
enza, which is raging among young and 
old. Just now he is so much better that 
I am going to set out with him to-morrow 
to the west country, to remain at Germis- 
ton for three weeks, and I hope the 
change of air will restore him quite. He 
is grown very tall, and speaks, I rejoice 
to say, rather more intelligibly than when 
you heard him last. He puts me very 
much in mind of brother Charles in every- 
thing. We heard from Walter and his 
lady the other day. They are now in the 
Dublin Barracks, the regiment having left 
Cork a fortnight after they joined it. She 
seems to like her new mode of life very 



SCOTT LETTERS 107 

much, and a great change it must be 
following a regiment, from living in the 
most humdrum manner with her mother, 
and never seeing a soul. I think you will 
like her very much, for she is really a very 
sensible nice young woman. 

Charles is by this time returned to Ox- 
ford, after having spent the Easter holi- 
days among his English friends. Among 
the rest, he had found his way to the Duke 
of Buckingham's, for he is the one of 
the family that is always making great 
friends. Papa, Mamma, and Anne have 
been at Abbotsford since the 12th of 
March. I wrote to Anne to remind her 
of the letters you wish, and should think 
by this time you must have heard from 
her, unless she has been very lazy. I am 
sorry you are going to leave Mrs. Bathurst's 
family, as you seem attached to her, and 
it is such a chance finding a comfortable 
family to live with, but you must know 
best, and have some very good reason for 
doing it. I think your Kensington plan 
a very good one, for you are much more 



108 SCOTT LETTERS 

likely to hear of something that will suit 
in England. Here the fashion is to send 
the children to all kind of classes, with 
a nursery governess to attend them, till 
thirteen or fourteen, and then send them 
to a French or English School. I will 
write however if anything should cast up, 
and hope to hear from you soon. With 
best love, believe me ever to remain your 
affectionate friend, 

C. Sophia Lockhart. 

XXIV 

Abbotsford, 
Sunday night, [October?] 1825. 

My dear Miss Millar, — I found your 
letter here on my return from the Ednes, 
and meant to have answered it much 
sooner, but we have had so many people 
here, that I have never had a moment's 
time to myself, particularly as Mamma 
has not been very well, and had to keep 
her own room a good deal, so all the 
trouble of entertaining visitors has fallen 



SCOTT LETTERS 109 

on me. Mamma desires me to say that 
she believes she is indebted to Mr. 
Thistlewaite for a quantity of game that 
came to her from the Highlands. Mamma 
begs that you will have the kindness to 
thank him for it. Our tour to Ireland 1 



1 The tour to Ireland, Wales, and the English Lakes was 
made in July and August. A full account of it is given in 
Lockhart, vol. iv., pp. 280-313, chap, lxiii. Sir Walter was 
accompanied by Anne and his son-in-law, whose description 
of their expedition is charming in itself, and valuable as 
throwing light on the social and political condition of Ire- 
land in 1825. For the travellers those seven or eight 
weeks were the last of unclouded happiness which they 
were to enjoy; the calamities of 1826 — that annee terrible 
in the history of the Scott family — were fast approach- 
ing. 

Lockhart modestly disclaims any intention of discussing 
f vexed questions of politics and administration,' but in Ire- 
land these questions lie on the surface, and ' he who runs 
may read.' He says that he will note c particulars more 
immediately connected with the person of Scott,' and few 
pages of his book tell us more about Scott's geniality and 
boyish spirits, and vivid interest in the beauties of Nature, 
and in the history and inhabitants of any country in which 
he travelled. He received in Ireland the heartiest welcome 
from high and low ; from the Lord-Lieutenant to the poorest 
'struggler,' a word which he well said ' deserves to be 
classical.' At Dublin they were joined by Captain and 
Mrs. Scott, and with them visited the Edgeworths at Edge- 
worthstown, and saw what made Sir Walter say that 'to 
talk of the misery of Ireland, at this time, is to speak of the 
illness of a malade imaginaire. ' The real misery of Ireland 



110 SCOTT LETTERS 

is now so old a story that I can only 
say I was delighted with it, and shall 
always consider the time I spent there as 
the happiest time I ever spent. We were 
a week at the Lakes, and paid a visit 
to Mr. Bolton, where we met with Mr. 
Canning, with whom I was quite de- 
lighted. Then we proceeded to Lowther 
Castle, to pay a visit of some days. It 
is a most magnificent place, and I liked 
the Lonsdale family extremely. When 
we returned we found Sophia and Johnny 
much the better of the quiet life they 
led in our absence. In short, dear little 



he saw in Kerry, and it depressed even his buoyant spirits. 
His depression, however, was frequently relieved by displays 
of Irish wit and cheerfulness, which much delighted him, 
and which he often ' capped ' with Scotch stories, good for 
the Englishmen to read who accept the dictum of Sydney 
Smith. Why did Sir Walter not write a novel about 
Ireland, which he liked or loved so well ? 

From Ireland they went to Wales, and thence to Winder- 
mere, where Christopher North entertained them, and they 
saw Wordsworth and Canning, the latter ' looking poorly, 
and an old man : he had not long to live. At Keswick they 
saw Southey ' in his unrivalled library,' and after visiting 
Lord and Lady Lonsdale, returned to Abbotsford on Sep- 
tember 1. They must have looked back, in the sad years 
which followed, with fond regret to that happy time. 



SCOTT LETTERS 111 

Johnny is quite a different creature, and 
I fain would hope that all anxiety on 
his account is now over. 

The Miss Russells are returned in good 
health and much better spirits than I ever 
expected to see them in. Jane walks and 
speaks quite well. They are now staying 
at Yair, but are very soon coming here, 
when I shall be truly happy to see them. 
Charles is at home just now, and begs to 
be kindly remembered to you. He does 
nothing but wage war with the Blackcock 
and Partridges. He was making a tour 
in the Highlands for some weeks, and re- 
turned highly delighted with them. As 
for Walter, he is quite a sober married 
man, never dines at mess, to the great 
surprise of his brother officers, but remains 
quietly at home with his wife. They went 
with us to Kilarny, and also Miss Edge- 
worth and her sister, when we met with 
no adventures. Though everybody tried 
to persuade us not to go so far South, 
yet, though we even travelled very late at 
night, yet everything was quite quiet, and, 



112 SCOTT LETTERS 

except the places where the doors were 
open all night, and the beggars slept in 
the passage, the accommodation was very 
tolerable, and we were well repaid by the 
Lakes at Kilarny, which are quite mag- 
nificent. On our return we went through 
Wales, which is very beautiful, and the 
quiet and want of beggars made a most 
agreeable variety from Ireland, where there 
is great noise and many beggars. We 
spent a few hours with Lady Eleanor 
Butler and Miss Ponsonby, 1 who are two 
very absurd-looking old ladies, dressed like 
old gentlemen, in habits made like a man's 
coat, and their hair cut quite short, and 
powdered. They seem extremely fond of 
scandal, and know everybody's death or 
marriage. Lockhart's brother has given 
his family great pleasure by the bride he 
has chosen, who is very amiable, and has 
twelve thousand pounds. Poor Mrs. Lock- 
hart was in great distress at parting with 
one of her sons, who has just sailed for 

1 For a full account of the ' Ladies of Llangollen,' see 
Lockhart's letter (vol. iii., pp. 308-10, chap, lxiii.). 



SCOTT LETTERS 113 

India, so the marriage of Laurance has 
done her a great deal of good. By the 
bye, we were very unlucky at not seeing 
Mrs. Fry's brother, I forget his name, and 
Lady Harriet. We were from home, and 
they just left their letter of introduction, 
and went on South. Is Lady Harriet as 
handsome as her brother Ld. Erroll, and 
her sisters, who are quite beautiful ? Sophia 
and Lockhart are at Chiefs wood just now, 
but we see them every day. I am very 
glad to hear that you like your situation, 
and the young ladies being grown up must 
be companions to you, which must make 
it very pleasant. We have two very 
pleasant visitors just now, Lady Ravens- 
worth and her son Mr. Liddell ; they are 
both very accomplished, and unaffected, 
which makes them very pleasant to their 
friends. I must now conclude, having 
only left myself room to remain yours 
affectionately, 

Anne Scott. 

I hope you will write soon, and tell us 

H 



114 SCOTT LETTERS 

how you are going on. Pray excuse this 
horrid scrawl, as I have written this in a 
great hurry, as I must go to play the 
agreeable to Lady Ravensworth. Mamma 
and Papa beg to be remembered to you. 



XXV 

1826. 1 

My dear Miss Millar, — You must 
not think I have been neglectful of 

1 This letter is undated : it was written probably in the 
February of this sad year. The writer shows herself her 
father's daughter — steadfast and hopeful, ' equal to either 
fortune.' She does not underrate the calamity, but sees 
that it means 'a, future life of study and labour' for her 
father, ' who has done so much.' A few months before the 
date of this letter, on November 20, 1825, Sir Walter had 
begun his Diary, or Journal, entitled, Sir Walter Scott of 
Abbotsford, Bart., his Gurnal. On the title-page he adds, as 
a footnote to 'Gurnal,' C A hard word, so spelt on the 
authority of Miss Sophia Scott, now Mrs. Lockhart.' 
(Lockhart, vol. iv., p. 349, chap, lxv.) 

The Journal is the noblest of Sir Walter's works, and 
shows the real character of the man. No one, surely, can 
read that record of unflinching energy and heroism, of 
troubles keenly felt but bravely met, without feeling en- 
couraged and strengthened to meet troubles of his own. 

The Journal was kept without interruption for six years, 
till his departure for Italy in 1831. It begins cheerily, and 



SCOTT LETTERS 115 

you. I had not been here a fortnight 
when I found out your residence in Con- 
naught Terrace, called, and was told it 
was uncertain when you were to be in 
town. Since that the many disagreeable 
things that have happened amongst us 
have prevented my writing to you. You 
must have seen by the papers, Constable 
the bookseller, and through him, Mr. Bal- 
lantyne's failure, and am sure you will 
grieve to hear that Papa has lost the 
greater part of his hard-worked-for for- 



the entries are minute and full : it ends with a good- 
humoured, if somewhat testy, paternal complaint of the 
girls ' breaking loose ' and talking politics — then a dangerous 
subject — in all weathers, and in all sorts of company ; and 
making slaves of the naval officers at Portsmouth. 

From the Journal, and from chapters Ixiv. and lxv. of 
Lockhart's Life, can be gathered an account of the causes 
and nature of the financial disaster which ruined Sir 
Walter's life, and of the means by which he half-cleared 
himself of a debt of £1.30,000, by labours which broke and 
killed him. He died for a point of honour, as became a 
noble gentleman. Abbotsford was saved: 'poor 39' was 
sold. It is impossible, within the limits of a note, to give 
even an outline of the circumstances which led to the failure 
of Constable and Ballantyne. The commercial crisis of 
1825, the reckless daring of Constable, the carelessness of 
Ballantyne, and, it must be added, Scott's own negligence, 
are sufficient explanations. 



116 SCOTT LETTERS 

tune by these sad events. Abbotsford, 
we trust, will remain, but the house in 
Castle Street is to be sold, and Mamma 
and Anne mean to reside constantly in 
the country ; Papa only going to Edin- 
burgh when his professional duties call 
him, and then living in lodgings. Though 
many worse things may happen to a family 
besides loss of fortune, yet one cannot 
but feel sorrow to think that such a man 
should have to labour so hard after hav- 
ing done so much. As for Lockhart and 
myself, the smash has also taken what 
we could ill afford, and I only wish what 
you congratulate me upon were true. He 
has no Government appointment what- 
ever, and came up to be the Editor of 
the Quarterly Review, and we only hope 
some good thing may turn up in time. 
Meanwhile we have taken this house, 
furnished, till next December, I having 
the pleasant prospect of a confinement 
before me this May. Johnny has been 
extremely delicate from the effects of the 
Hooping-Cough, which he had last May, 



SCOTT LETTERS 117 

but I trust the fine weather and milder 
climate will have a good effect upon him. 
The spring months here are so different 
from Scotland. You may well think how 
sad I was to leave home, and now, after 
all this sad business, how much more 
anxious I feel that we were all together, 
though everything in the long run may 
turn out for the best. I fain hope that 
the report, for as yet it is but a report, 
of Walters Regiment going to India, 1 may 
turn out untrue, as it would be a great 
distress to us his going, which he would 
do. Charles is still at Oxford, and must 
remain there some years longer, I believe. 
Papa, Mamma, and Anne are in the very 
best possible spirits. Papa nothing can 
shake, and he looks forward with the 
greatest confidence to what must be a 
future life of study and labour, to make 
up what is gone of his fortune, and he 
has the sympathy of the whole kingdom. 
Let me hear from you soon, and 

1 Walter did not go to India till seven years after his 
father's death. 



118 SCOTT LETTERS 

believe me ever to remain yours very 
affectionately, 

C. Sophia Lockhart. 

25 Pall Mall, 
Monday. 

XXVI 

May 19, 1826. 
Abbotsford, Friday morning. 

My dear Miss Millar, — I should 
have written to you before this, but was 
not able. All is over now, and poor 
Mamma left this place for ever last Mon- 
day. 1 She had been ill for many months, 
but for the last two was confined to her 
room. Still, though great danger was 
apprehended, it was not the opinion of 
the medical men that it would be so 
sudden. Poor Papa was obliged to leave 
her, to attend his duty in Edinburgh. 
Two days after his departure, she got 

1 See Journal, May 15 to May 30 ; Lockhart, vol. iv., 
pp. 507-14, chap. lxx. , passages to be read, not quoted. 
Sir Walter dearly loved the wife, who, literary gossips with 
strange impertinence tell us, was not good enough for him. 
He found her good enough. 



SCOTT LETTERS 119 

much worse and suffered very great pain 
indeed ; for the three last days it was so 
very terrible that I thank God that I was 
the only one of her family with her. 
Dr. Clarkson agreed with me in not 
sending for Papa till all was over, as it 
would have only hurt him, and poor 
Mamma was sensible to nothing but pain. 
About five in the morning she fell asleep, 
and so gentle were her last moments, that 
I thought she was still asleep when it was 
all over. You can have no idea, my dear 
Miss Millar, what a blessing I felt it to 
be. Had Mamma died in one of those 
fits of agony, I never could have borne it. 
Papa, thank God, is quite well, and both 
of my brothers have been here, but were 
obliged to leave us to-day. Poor Walter, 
whom we did not expect, arrived at a 
dreadful moment, just when the funeral 
service had begun. He had travelled in 
great haste from Ireland, and has suffered 
much from the shock. When I was 
allowed to see him on Tuesday he was 
so pale and thin I could scarcely have 



120 SCOTT LETTERS 

known him. I see you do not know that 
Sophia has been confined for more than a 
month. We have had the satisfaction of 
hearing that, though much distressed, she 
has not suffered in her health. She is now 
at Brighton, for the health of poor Johnnie, 
for it has been one of the distresses of this 
melancholy year, poor Johnnie's health, 
which is very precarious. He is, however, 
much the better of the sea air, and we 
hear better accounts of his health every 
day. I trust the youngest boy, Walter 
Scott, will be stronger. I hope to see 
Sophia at Brighton in July. Papa was 
obliged to go to London, and Dr. Clarkson 
recommends change of air for me, as I 
have not been well for a long time, 1 and 
the dreadful shock I received has made 
me very weak and nervous, but I now feel 
the fine weather doing me good, and I am 

1 See Letter xxxvu. It is doubtful whether Anne ever 
fully recovered from the shock of losing her mother, any 
more than she did from the shock of her father's death. 
She had not the firmness of Sophia, and had been ailing 
for some time. (See Letter xix., and Lockhart, vol. iii., 
pp. 507-11, chap, lxix.) 



SCOTT LETTERS 121 

sure in some weeks I will be as well as 
possible. Papa leaves here for Edinburgh 
to-morrow, but my cousin, Anne Scott, 
who arrived, to my great delight, a few 
days ago, and. I, will remain here for the 
few weeks he must be away. Is there no 
chance, my dear Miss Millar, of your being 
in Scotland ? We shall be at Abbotsford, 
I trust, in the middle of August, to receive 
my brother and his wife ; so I hope, if you 
are able, you will pay us a visit. Charles 
will also be down with us, and you will 
find your old friends, the Miss Russells, 
settled at Ashestiel, so I think you cannot 
do better than come here this summer. 
I am afraid you will not be able to read 
this, as I can scarcely hold my pen, but I 
did not like to delay answering your kind 
enquiries any longer. Papa and I unite in 
kind regards, and believe me with much 
esteem to remain yours affectionately, 

Anne Scott. 



122 SCOTT LETTERS 

XXVII 

25 Pall Mall, 
5th November 1826. 

My dear Miss Millar, — I was very 
sorry indeed to have missed you on your 
return from Scotland, particularly as we 
came up to town only a few days after you 
had called. Lockhart and myself enjoyed 
our little excursion very much indeed. We 
went over from Brighton to Dieppe ; then, 
after spending a day at Rouen, got to 
Paris, where we remained about ten days, 
seeing everything we could in that short 
time, and, I assure you, we were not idle ; 
and returned by Boulogne to Dover. 
Since we brought John here I have not 
thought him looking so well, and in con- 
sequence have sent him and his nurse to 
pay a visit to a relation of Lockhart 's a 
few miles from town, for a fortnight. By 
that time a house we have taken on 
Wimbledon Common for the winter months 
will be ready to receive us, as we mean, 
for John's health, to live in the country, 



SCOTT LETTERS 123 

and have only a lodging in town, where 
Mr. Lockhart may have letters and papers 
sent, and where we can remain a few days 
at, when we are engaged in town. Papa 
and Anne, after remaining a week with us, 
went to Paris last Thursday week. 1 We 
expect them back in a few days, though I 
much fear their stay will be very short, the 
weary Parliament House requiring Papa's 
presence in Edinburgh. I think I never 
saw Papa in better health, and his spirits 
quite wonderful. He dined with the King 
at Windsor the day after he arrived, and 
met with a most gracious reception. You 
ask me about my Baby Walter. 2 I assure 
you he is one of the stoutest fellows for 

1 They left Dover on October 26, and spent about a 
week in Paris, where the French were ' literally out- 
rageous in their civilities.' The object of Sir Walter's 
journey was to collect additional materials for the Life of 
Napoleon, now nearly finished. He probably also wished to 
give Anne and himself a change of scene and surroundings, 
for the summer in desolate Abbotsford must have been a 
sad one. The change seems to have done both of the 
travellers good. It was followed by a visit to Charles 
at Brasenose, which recalled to Sir Walter the memories 
of twenty-five years back, when he first saw Oxford. 
(Lockhart, vol. v., pp. 51-76, chap, lxxii.) 

2 Baby Walter, born 1827, became a soldier, a cornet of 



124 SCOTT LETTERS 

his months you ever saw : is thought very 
good looking. John is certainly much 
stronger, and altogether better than he 
was, and I fain hope patience and care will 
yet make him grow a stout boy : he is still 
kept almost entirely in a horizontal position, 
but as he has grown very tall, and has the 
best possible spirits, I have every hope of 
his doing well under Mr. Shaw's care. 
With regard to Jessy Hoy, I have not 
the very least remembrance of such a 
name, though it may happen, seeing so 
many people at Abbotsford, we may have 
forgot, Anne's memory on the subject 
being the same as mine. If you write 
to me after the 17th of December, address 
to the care of John Murray, Esq., Albe- 
marle Street, as we shall have left this 
house, and I do not know the Wimbledon 
address. Mr. Lockhart joins me in best 
compliments, and believe me to remain 
very affectionately yours, 

C. Sophia Lockhart. 

dragoons, and died, unmarried, in 1853. He succeeded to 
his uncle's estates, but not to the baronetcy, which became 
extinct on the death of the second Sir Walter in 1847. 



SCOTT LETTERS 125 

I was quite glad to hear from Anne 
you felt so comfortable in your present 
situation. 



XXVIII 

Abbotsford, 
Sunday morning, August 1827. 

My dear Miss Millar, — I take a great 
deal of shame to myself at not having 
written to you before. 

I received your letter last night, and am 
very sorry indeed to hear that you are to 
leave Mr. . 

Have you any idea of coming down to 
Scotland ? I hope if you do, that you will 
pay us a visit ; we shall be at home all the 
Autumn, and it will give Papa and myself 
much pleasure to see you here. 

In regard to your wish about another 
situation, I have written this morning to 
a most active, bustling, good-natured 
woman, a Mrs. Hughes. Dr. Hughes is 
one of the residents at St. Paul's. She is 
so fond of Papa that she would do any- 



126 SCOTT LETTERS 

thing, or take any trouble, for him, and as 
she is in good society in London, and a 
dear friend of the Duchess of Buckingham, 
she might be in the way of hearing of 
something that might suit you. Mrs. 
Murray wished a lady to educate her 
children, but that, I am sure, would never 
suit ; she is such a disagreeable person. 

We are a very happy family party just 
now ; Charles and the Lockharts are here. 
Sophia is quite well ; she will remain 
with us till the end of October. The 
children are both here. Johnnie, I am 
truly happy to say, is a very great deal 
better, indeed in point of health he is as 
well as possible, and the doctors say 
that, when he grows up, the deformity of 
the spine will never be discovered. The 
youngest boy is a perfect beauty, and, what 
is better, is very healthy. Charles is quite 
well ; he has taken his degree at Oxford, 
and, I suppose, will get some situation in 
the Diplomatic Line. 1 We have been 

1 Charles Scott, ' whose spotless worth tenderly endeared 
him to the few who knew him intimately, and whose in- 



SCOTT LETTERS 127 

much shocked at the death of poor Mr. 
Canning; 1 he was a very old friend of 
Papa's, and he feels his loss very deeply. 

dustry and accuracy were warmly acknowledged by his 
professional superiors,' was appointed to a clerkship in the 
Foreign Office in 1827, and in 1831 was attached to the 
embassy at Naples, where he received his father on his visit 
there. In 1841 he accompanied Sir John M'Neill on a 
mission to the Court of Persia, and died of fever at Teheran, 
almost immediately on his arrival there, in October 1841, 
in his thirty-sixth year, six years before his elder brother. 
(Lockhart, 'Addenda' to the Life.) 

1 Canning died on August 8, 1827. The news of his 
death reached Abbotsford on August 10, and under date 
August 11 is entered in Scott's Journal his 'appreciation' 
of Canning, f the witty, the accomplished, the ambitious.' 
Under date April 17, 1828, he relates a strange story, 
difficult to believe, about Canning's conversion from revolu- 
tionary opinions to the Anti-Jacobin faith. Scott, though a 
high Tory, and, at the end of his life, a bitter one, yet 
shows in 1827 that he perceived the necessity of some con- 
cessions to the Whigs and Democrats. He writes : ' There 
are repairs in the structure of our constitution which ought 
to be made at this season, and without which the people 
will not long be silent : a pure Whig administration would 
probably play the devil, by attempting a thorough repair.' 
Till his nerves and judgment were impaired by overwork 
and trouble, he held the most rational of political creeds, 
though he would probably have scorned the name Liberal 
Conservative, had it been invented in his time. His hatred 
of revolution and his aristocratic sentiments were controlled 
by a strong sense of justice, affection for the 'lower' classes, 
as he would certainly have called them, knowledge of 
their virtues as well as of their faults, and by great practical 
sagacity ; for he was a man of affairs, and did not live in a 



128 SCOTT LETTERS 

You have the Duchess of St. Alban's 
near you, I suppose. How does the poor 
little Duke look ? She sent Papa a most 
magnificent gold inkstand. 

I daresay the marriage will turn out very 
well, for, though he is a great fool, yet he 
is very good-natured. Now, my dear Miss 
Millar, I must conclude, as the carriage is 
at the door. We have had a great deal of 
company, and the house is quite full. 
I do not know what I am writing, as there 
is a Russian, General Yarminoff, talking 
half french and half english to me, while 
Papa and the other gentlemen are talking 
Politicks, to say nothing of the screams of 
Master Walter, whom Lockhart has put 
on my chair. All this must be my excuse 

dreamland of abstractions, poetical or political. Adolphus 
writes (Lockhart, vol. v., p. 346, chap, lxxx.) that in his 
earlier days ' Sir Walter could look manfully and philo- 
sophically at those changes in the aspect of society which 
time and the progress, well or ill-directed, of the human 
mind were uncontrollably working out, though the innova- 
tions might not in some of their results accord with his own 
tastes and opinions.' He wrote and spoke in favour of 
Catholic Emancipation in 1829 (vol. v., p. 239, chap, lxxvii.). 
Two years later he was pelted and cursed by the mob of 
Jedburgh for his strenuous opposition to the Reform Bill. 



SCOTT LETTERS 129 

for this wretched scrawl. I hope to hear 
soon from you, and with kindest regards 
from Sophia, Papa, and Lockhart, believe 
me to remain yours affectionately, 

A. Scott. 

Sophia has been also bit with the french 
mania, for she has a french nursery-maid 
for the little boys. 

I should write to the Scotch Lady Gray, 
as she is a person who is likely to know 
what would suit you. 

XXIX 

My dear Miss Millar, ! — I have only 
an instant to tell you I wrote, the minute I 
received your letter, to an English friend, 
that I thought would be likely to be of use 
to you, and have just received an answer 
from her, wishing your present address for 
a friend of hers, a Mrs. Twining, Clapham 
Common, who is in want of a person to 

1 This letter is worth publishing as showing Sophia's 
inexhaustible kindness and patience in dealing with Miss 
Millar's frequent appeals for help in trouble. 

I 



130 SCOTT LETTERS 

instruct her young ladies, who are very 
delicate. This I have sent her by this 
post, so you may expect to hear from Mrs. 
Twining in a day or two, and I hope her 
situation will be such as you will like. My 
friend desires me to tell you a more amiable 
person does not exist than Mrs. Twining, 
or one who more completely considers the 
happiness or comfort of all under her roof. 
We are all well here, but I must conclude 
in haste not to lose a post. Believe me to 
remain very sincerely yours, 

C. Sophia Lockhart. 

Abbotsford, 
Thursday, September 26, 1827. 



XXX 

My dear Miss Millar, — Thank you 
very much for your kind enquiries. I am 
much better now, but suffered a good deal 
from a cold ; however, Dr. Ross has quite 
set me up again. We have been leading a 
most solitary life. Papa is very busy, and, 



SCOTT LETTERS 131 

I think, in bad spirits about the state of 
the times, and he does nothing when he 
does speak but croak about them} I miss 
the Lockharts and my brothers very much, 
but they are all well and happy, which is 
a great comfort. The Lockharts are in 
London, and Johnny has gone to a day 
school a few doors from Sophia. It is to 
a gentleman who educates boys for Eton. 
Johnny delights in the school, and they 

1 See note 1, p. 127. All things were 'against him.' The 
State, he thought, was on the brink of ruin ; his health 
was much broken by two attacks, though slight, of apoplexy 
in the spring and autumn of the year ; and he had become 
conscious of the failure of his powers. He was ' shaking 
hands with death,' to use his own words ; not afraid of death 
so much as of the fate of Swift and Marlborough, should he 
linger on 'a driveller and a show.' One thing had greatly 
cheered him. At a meeting of his trustees and creditors 
held on December 17, it was announced that his debt was 
reduced to £54,000 ; in five years he had made, largely by 
the work which had shattered his health, about £70,000. 
His creditors passed the following resolution : ( That Sir 
Walter Scott be requested to accept of his furniture, plate, 
linens, paintings, library, and curiosities of every description, 
as the best means the creditors have of expressing their very 
high sense of his most honourable conduct, and in grateful 
acknowledgment for the unparalleled and most successful 
exertions he has made and continues to make for them.' 
He accepted the offer, the only offer of assistance he had not 
rejected, in a modest, half-pathetic, half-humorous letter of 
great dignity. (Lockhart, vol. v., pp. 298-99, chap, lxxix.) 



132 SCOTT LETTERS 

say it is surprising how much he has learnt, 
poor little fellow. Little Walter also goes 
for an hour(?), but he treads the path of 
learning with slow steps, having only learnt 
after many lessons to spell so. Baby, I am 
ashamed to say, has got on before him in 
her learning at home with the Nurse. 

My brother Walter is distinguishing 
himself in getting hold of the incendiaries, 
etc., etc., at Birmingham, where he is quar- 
tered, and I think the active life he leads 
does him good, as we hear of no cough or 
no complaint of any sort. Charley is at 
Naples ; he is attache to our Embassy 
there, and the Ambassador is so kind to 
him. He has given him rooms in his 
Palazzo ; in short, nothing can be happier 
than Charley, and the warm climate has 
quite cured his rheumatism. 

You did not say if you still think of 
changing your present quiet mode of life. 
I hope you will pay us a visit here soon, that 
is to say, if you don't object to our absolute 
solitude. We have only an engagement 
at Mertoun for a few days on the first of 



SCOTT LETTERS 133 

January ; after that time we shall be most 
happy to see you. I find my cousin Henry 
Scott 1 has gone without giving me a frank 
for this, so I shall send it as it is, and 
believe me to remain yours affectionately, 

Anne Scott. 

Abbotsford, 
Wednesday, 
[November or December ?] 1830. 



XXXI 

My dear Miss Millar, — I can't think 
how such storms rise. There has been no 
such, or nothing of that sort, though God 
knows there has been distress enough. 

Papa has had another attack of apo- 
plexy, 2 and now, though quite well, and 
almost the same as when you saw him, the 

1 Henry Francis Scott, younger of Harden, M.P. for 
Roxburghshire, and Anue's cousin in the wide Scottish 
sense. 

2 This attack occurred on April 16. It ' was greatly 
more severe than any that had gone before it.' Anne's 
words are almost the same as those in which her father 
records this illness in his Diary. (Lockhart, vol. v., 
pp. 326-7, chap. Ixxx.) 



134 SCOTT LETTERS 

frequent occurrence of that dangerous 
complaint of course must make us very 
uneasy. He was in great danger one 
night, and I sent for Dr. Abercrombie, 
who came immediately. He did nothing, 
however, as he found Dr. Clarkson had 
done everything that was right, but en- 
forced upon him the necessity there is of 
living very low. Dr. A. says Papa's con- 
stitution is so excellent that he may live 
twenty years, if he will only take care of 
himself. At present he lives on soup, 
porridge, bread, etc., etc., but no meat, or 
nothing stronger than water to drink. 

Walter arrived last night, which is a 
great comfort to me, and I expect Sophia 
and two children upon Tuesday by the 
steamboat. Lockhart is standing for some 
Borough or other, but we have not heard 
if he has gained his election. I wish my 
letter could reach you in time to take a 
walk to the Pier, and see Sophia arrive, but 
I fear it will be too late. She comes by 
the Soho Steam Packet. It will be a 
great pleasure indeed for me to see the 



SCOTT LETTERS 135 

children again. I am much better myself. 
Dr. Abercrombie complimented me much 
on my improvement, notwithstanding I 
had been up three nights, but one can 
do a great deal when one is well. 

By the way, I must tell you, my dear 
Miss Millar, that after mature deliberation 

I rejected my little ,* but he has got 

over it, and is going to be married, which 
I am glad of, to a lady with a great deal of 
money, which I found afterwards would 
be very necessary, so I am sure it will 
all be for the best. I need not say don't 
mention this. 

I have not done so, even to Walter and 
Sophia, as I don't think it fair to a gentle- 
man who has paid you what he considers 
as great a compliment as he can pay. The 
country is beginning to look so very pretty. 
I hope you will come and pay us a visit in 
summer, and that you will find us in a 
happier state than we were when you were 
here, or, I am sorry to say, now. 

Still I trust in God this may also pass 

1 See Introduction. 



] 



136 SCOTT LETTERS 

away. I have had a miserable anxious 
time of it. 

The Russell's were well when I saw 

them, and Ferguson 's much the same. 

Will you tell everybody Papa is much 
better. They make such horrid reports I 
thought it better to tell you the truth 
about apoplexy, but it will be better not 
to mention it. Many people have lived 
after more frequent and worse attacks than 
Papa's. I have written this in great haste, 
so do excuse it. I shall be glad to hear 
from you again, and was most happy to 
hear Mrs. Ross was better. I was much 
alarmed about her. Yours very affection- 
ately, A. Scott. 

Abbotsford, 
Sunday, May p, 1831. 



XXXII 

24 Sussex Place, Regent's Park, 
10th January 1832. 

My dear Miss Millar, — Many thanks 
for your kind enquiries. We have both 



SCOTT LETTERS 137 

been much shocked, but are now as well 
as you would expect us to be after all we 
have gone through. To add to it all, the 
Baby, as she still is called, fell on the stairs 
a week ago, and broke her arm under the 
elbow; it was set the same evening, and 
she is doing as well as possible, no fever, 
and as merry as possible ; but you may 
think what a sad fright it gave us, par- 
ticularly when nerves were far from strong. 
I heard yesterday from Charles, who is at 
Naples. He says the Barham with Papa, 
Anne, and Walter was arrived in the bay, 
but, from the strict quarantine, he was 
only allowed to row round the ship, and 
see them on deck. They were all well, had 
remained three weeks at Malta, and been 
five days on their voyage to Naples. They 
were to be released from quarantine in a 
few days, so I hope to receive letters 
very soon. 1 have every hope change of 
scene and climate will do both Papa and 
Anne good : another winter at Abbotsford 
would never have done for them : already 
Papa is much the better of his voyage. I 



138 SCOTT LETTERS 

wish you saw my Walter now ; he is grown 
very tall, and as handsome as ever. I 
cannot say much for his learning as yet : 
he is begun to learn to read, but you know 
I am no friend to early tuition, and he is 
not six till the middle of April. We have 
no plans fixed for next summer, but if we 
come, I shall take care to let you know. 
With all kind wishes from us both, believe 
me to remain yours very affectionately, 

C. Sophia Lockhart. 1 

1 In Lockhart (vol. v., pp. 352-417, chaps, lxxx. and 
lxxxi. ) an account is given of the last — not quite the last — 
days at Abbotsford ; of Sir Walter's voyage to Malta and 
Naples in the Barham, a King's ship placed at his disposal 
by the Admiralty ; of his visit to Rome, Florence, and 
Venice, and return to England by a route which took him 
through the Tyrol, and down the Rhine from Mayence. 
After an absence of seven months, he reached England on 
the 13th of June in a ' hopeless state of mind and body.' 
About four weeks later he was taken to Abbotsford, at his 
own earnest request. The return to his beloved home 
revived him for a time. e I have seen much,' he said, ' but 
nothing like my ain house.' He lingered on for two months, 
suffering, apparently, no bodily pain ; his mind, though hope- 
lessly obscured, appeared when there was any symptom 
of consciousness to be dwelling on serious and solemn 
things. He often murmured to himself stanzas of the ' Dies 
Irae,' and of 'Stabat mater dolorosa.' On September 21 he 
died, literally falling asleep. 

Lockhart's description of the last year of Sir Walter's 



SCOTT LETTERS 139 



XXXIII 

St. James's Hotel, Jermyn Street, 
Saturday, June 30, 1832. 

My dear Miss Millar, — My poor father 
continues in the same hopeless state of 
mind and body, and indeed we pray the 
sad scene may soon close, as the physician 
gives us no hope of his recovery, though 

life is inexpressibly pathetic, the pathos heightened by the 
gallant struggle he maintained against pain, depression, 
and increasing infirmity. Chapters lxxx. and lxxxi. are 
full of incidents of varied interest, moving alternately 
laughter and tears, or something very like them; giving 
glimpses of light on foreign society, and the condition of 
Italy seventy years ago, and the modes of travelling in 
those leisurely times. We can read in these chapters of 
Wordsworth's last visit to Scott, the occasion of ' Yarrow 
revisited,' and of the exquisite sonnet beginning ' A trouble, 
not of clouds or weeping rain,' and ending with the charge 
to the winds of ocean to ' waft to soft Partheaope ' him 
with whom went the 'might of the whole world's good 
wishes.' Scott's mind dwelt much on the parallel between 
himself and his brother novelists, Fielding and Smollett, 
who had been driven abroad by declining health ; an 
ominous parallel. Wordsworth ' expressed his regret that 
neither of those great masters of romance appeared to have 
been surrounded with any due marks of respect in the 
close of life.' It was not so with Scott. No great man 
was ever received in any country with an affectionate en- 
thusiasm like that with which Sir Walter was received in 
Italy. Voltaire, indeed, made a triumphant entry into 



140 SCOTT LETTERS 

his extreme strength of body may make 
his case a lingering one. Should he ever 
be able to be moved from the bed he now 
is on, we shall bring him down to Abbots- 
ford, and I shall accompany him ; his case 
is one no Physician can calculate on an 
hour or a year, and, could you see him, 
you would, like his family, pray the latter 
might not be the great man's portion. 
Anne has suffered much, and is in a very 
delicate state of health, 1 and till all this 
is over we cannot expect much improve- 
ment. 

Paris, but he must have had there bitter enemies as well 
as devoted friends. Sir Walter had no enemies in Rome 
or Naples. The Barham, in which Sir Walter, his eldest 
son, and his daughter Anne sailed, was one of the smartest 
ships in the service. One smiles to read that ' the officers 
of the ship thought Sir Walter must gain more addition 
to his fame from having been a passenger on board the 
Barham than they, or she, could possibly receive even from 
having taken on board such a guest.' 

It is significant that Sir Walter took but a languid interest 
in classical antiquities. He called Pompeii c The City of the 
Dead,' and was moved only by the sight of memorials of 
feudal times, of ' battles long ago ' between knights and 
Saracens, and of the romance of the Middle Ages ; by the 
memorials also which he saw in Rome of a later romance, 
the story of the Stuarts. 

1 See Letter xxxvu. 



SCOTT LETTERS 141 

Both Charles and Walter are here, and 
we are thankful we are all together, in a 
first-rate quiet Hotel, with the best medical 
assistance London can give. 

Excuse shaking hand and haste, as Papa 
has no nurses but his children night and 
day, and believe me to remain your friend, 

C. Sophia Lockhart. 



XXXIV 

My dear Miss Millar, — You will have 
seen the melancholy termination of our 
journey by the newspapers, which in this 
instance tell the truth. 

The medical people, finding nothing of 
avail, have sent us down to Scotland, and, 
thank God, we arrived here yesterday. 
Poor Papa bore the journey wonderfully 
well, and though he was unconscious of 
being here yesterday, to-day he knew 
W. Laidlaw, 1 and was sensible he was in 

1 He recognised Laidlaw, and, ' resting his eye on him, 
said, " Ha ! Willie Laidlaw ! O man, how often have I 
thought of you ! " ' There is some variation between Lock- 



142 SCOTT LETTERS 

the Hall. Should it please God to prolong 
his life, he is far better here, and for my 
sister and myself it is such a comfort. 

Lockhart is with us also. They are both 
wonderfully well, and so am I, though I 
suffered at first from the great rapidity 
with which we travelled from Rome. I 
write these few lines in his room, and it is 
near four in the morning, which must be 
my excuse for their being so ill written, as 
I am very sleepy ; but I was sure you 
would be anxious, so think it better to 
write little than none, and ever believe 

hart's and Laidlaw' s accounts of this recognition, but they 
are essentially the same. (Lockhart, vol. v., p. 422, chap, 
lxxxiii., and Abbotsford Notanda, adfoiem). William Laidlaw 
knew Scott for thirty years, and saw more of him and in 
more varied ways than did any other of his friends. He 
was himself no mean poet ; a Border man, who helped Scott 
in collecting ballads for the Minstrelsy, managed his estates, 
and was his amanuensis, sometimes his literary critic, after 
the beginning of 1819. There are many interesting things 
in the Abbotsford Notanda ; descriptions of Scott's abound- 
ing gaiety in his youth, a gaiety which he never entirely 
lost ; of his strength and activity shown in rambles and 
climbs with Laidlaw and the Ettrick Shepherd ; of his 
personal appearance, his massive and athletic frame despite 
of the lame leg ; of his long upper lip, and of the look in 
his eyes, dreamy, shrewd, humorous, warlike, in his different 
moods. 



SCOTT LETTERS 143 

me, my dear Miss Millar, to remain yours 
affectionately, Anne Scott. 

Abbotsford, IMh July, 1832. 

XXXV 

Abbotsford, 
September 21, 1832. 

My dear Miss Millar, — You will be 
distressed to hear that my poor father 
died here this afternoon at one o'clock, 
without much apparent suffering. 

Sophia bears up very well, and Anne, 
tho' much shocked, will, I trust, in time be 
calmer. Very truly yours, 

Charles Scott. 

XXXVI 

My dear Miss Millar, — I would have 
written to you before this, but indeed I 
was quite unable. And even now I can- 
not dwell on the past without great pain, 
and I know how much you must have 
felt for him who is gone, and how kindly 



144 SCOTT LETTERS 

you do for us. I am at present staying 
with Sophia, and will remain with her till 
the end of winter, at least that is my 
present plan. Both Lockhart and Sophia 
are quite well, and so are the children, 1 
who are such a comfort and amusement. 
I see the newspapers announced we were 
staying at Rokeby Park. We were only 
there for a few hours on our way up. 
There were papers to be signed, etc., etc. 
We came up to town a different road from 
what we used to do, and I was very much 
pleased with the Cathedral at York, which 
I had never seen before. I had meant at 
first to have come up by the steamboat, 
and then I would have seen you, but I 
dreaded even passing through Edinburgh. 
I fear it will be long before I visit Scot- 
land again, and I do regret many friends 
I have left there, particularly the Miss 
Russells, who were very kind indeed to 
me during our dreadful distress. If it is 



1 Hugh Littlejohn had passed away on December 15, 
1831. There were only two children now in Lockhart's 
house, Walter and Charlotte. 



SCOTT LETTERS 145 

not troublesome to you, I wish you would 
write to me and say what your plans are, 
but I suppose you will not stir from home 
till your poor mother 's better. What a 
wretched year this has been for sickness 
and distress in every way, and when I 
look back to it, I can scarcely believe it 
possible I have gone through so many 
strange and awful scenes. This day last 
year we embarked for Malta, and had every 
hope that change of climate would restore 
him to health, but that was not Gods 
will ; and now, my dear Miss Millar, I must 
conclude this hurried letter. Lockhart is 
wanting me to help him about putting 
up some books, and is very impatient. 
Both him and Sophia desire to unite with 
me in kind regards to you, and ever be- 
lieve me to remain affectionately yours, 

Anne Scott. 

Friday morning, October 19, 18S2, 
24 Sussex Place, Regent's Park. 



K 



146 SCOTT LETTERS 

XXXVII 

24 Sussex Place, 
June 26, 1833. 

My dear Miss Millar, — I am sure you 
will be truly distressed to hear that we 
have lost your friend and pupil Ann, who 
died here yesterday morning at 11 o'clock. 

Poor Ann had latterly been very deli- 
cate, and, I think, never recovered the 
shock of my father's death. She had been 
complaining and in bed for some time, but 
the medical men foresaw no danger, till 
about 10 days ago, when she was seized 
with brain fever which terminated fatally. 

Sophia bears this severe blow with firm- 
ness and resignation. Walter has not yet 
come from Ireland. I am with great truth 
very sincerely yours, 

Charles Scott. 

XXXVIII 

Ramsgate, 4 Spencer Place, 
July 16, 1833. 

My dear Miss Millar, — Your kind 



SCOTT LETTERS 147 

letter followed me here, where the Doctors 
ordered me for change of air and warm 
sea-bathing, and we have taken the house 
for a month or two, should we like to 
remain, but the address to Sussex Place 
will find me always wherever I may be. 
God knows the change was very necessary 
after the great shock I have received, and 
time alone can reconcile, or indeed make 
me feel she is gone, for it is difficult to 
believe it, so sudden the danger was at 
last, although she was ill all winter ; but 
I must think it was the beginning of 
the brain fever, which was her end. She 
never suffered any pain, and for the last 
four days was in a stupor ; before that, 
hardly was sensible from the first. I 
was alarmed, and had all the physicians in 
town, and they were hopeless from the 
first of perfect recovery of her senses, even 
if her youth and strength of constitution 
had brought her through, and God knows 
that would have been worse than death. 
The children are well, and enjoy the sea- 
bathing very much indeed, and I am already 



148 SCOTT LETTERS 

much the better for it. This is a very nice 
place, and we have the great comfort of not 
knowing a soul, with the exception of old 
Coleridge, the poet, who lives near ; and, 
if we like to look at the Continent, there 
are steam boats every hour. I hope you 
are doing well, and have got some boarders. 
I fear it will be long ere I have heart to 
be in Scotland again. Charles is gone 
into Wales for a month to see some of his 
old school friends ; he was a great deal 
better in health than I have seen him for 
long. Walter is quartered at Kilkenny ; he 
got leave for the funeral, but was recalled to 
Ireland the day after. God bless you, dear 
Miss Millar. Your affectionate friend, 

C. Sophia Lockhart. 



XXXIX 

24 Sussex Place, Regent's Park, 
ZOth February 1834. 

My dear Miss Millar, — I write you a 
few hurried lines by Mr. William Lock- 



SCOTT LETTERS 149 

hart, who goes to Edinburgh upon busi- 
ness. My husband lost his poor mother 
last month after a long illness ; he only 
was in Scotland for the funeral, having 
been obliged to return here upon business. 
The children are in high form, stouter 
than they have been any winter before. 
We are talking of sending Walter to 
school after Easter, but can hardly bear 
the thought of parting with him. The 
little girl is really getting very pretty, and 
is very clever. Brother Walter has been 
here, for a few days only, being obliged to 
return to Ireland to take the command of 

the regiment upon Lord 's dismissal. 

I am sorry to say this does him no good ; 
harm indeed, as it is a rule in the ser- 
vice no officer in a regiment can rise by 
his Colonel being dismissed by a Court 
Martial ; x however, he has been so highly 



1 Lookhart ( f Addenda ' to the Life, vol. v., p. 464) writes: 
' His answers when examined as a witness before a cele- 
brated Court Martial in 1834 were universally admired.' 
His promotion came later when in 1839 ' he proceeded to 
Madras as Lieutenant-Colonel of the 15th Hussars, and 
subsequently commanded that regiment. He was beloved 



150 SCOTT LETTERS 

praised for his conduct and temper on the 
occasion, I hope some time hence he may 
have an opportunity of being promoted. 
Charles, for him, has been pretty well this 
winter, although worked very hard at the 
Foreign Office, Sunday and Saturday all 
the same ; he hardly is able to dine with 
me. I do not know what our summer 
plans will be : if we remain in this house a 
little painting and papering will be neces- 
sary, and will oblige me to go out of town 
for a couple of months, but where I do not 
know, and it will depend upon many cir- 
cumstances. Miss Macdonald Buchanan 
has been staying some time with me this 
winter, to my great delight, but since her 
return to Edinburgh has had the scarlet 
fever, poor soul. Let me hear what you 
are about, and believe me to remain yours 
in haste, 

Sophia Lockhart. 



and esteemed in it by officers and men as much, I believe, 
as any gentleman ever was in any corps of the British army, 
and there was no officer of his rank who stood higher in the 
opinion of the heads of his profession.' (Lockhart, Ibidem,) 



SCOTT LETTERS 151 

XL 

24 Sussex Place, Regent's Park, 
1th December 1834. 

My dear Miss Millar, — I am sorry 
to hear so indifferent an account of your 
boarder, and the more so, as I fear I can 
give you no assistance in the matter. The 
Countess Duchess of Sutherland, for such 
she styles herself, is not in town, or, if she 
were, I could hardly take the liberty of 
interfering in her family arrangements ; it 
must be done by a mutual friend, or a 
relative of both parties, and were it done, 
I fear, if she is so flighty as you represent 
her, all would not do. I was very sorry to 
miss you, but hope another year to return, 
should a general election take place, of 
which there is every prospect. A month 
hence Lockhart will have to make a run 
down to Roxborough shire to vote, but I 
should not think will have time to visit 
Edinburgh. I shall remain here quietly. 
We enjoyed our little tour in Scotland, 
and six weeks we spent at Rokeby on our 



152 SCOTT LETTERS 

return, very much, and it did us all a world 
of good. We found our house quite 
beautiful, all new painted and papered ; 
it is a dreadful operation to anticipate, but 
so comfortable when done. Walter has 
returned to school, which is better than a 
mile from this. He lives there, but comes 
home every Saturday, and returns Sunday 
evening; he likes it much, and grows a 
stout boy, and very handsome. Charlotte 
also goes across the street to a ladies' school 
for a few hours a day, and gets on very 
well ; she is very clever, and will be very 
pretty. I wish I could have shown you 
both, but Inverleith Place was such a dis- 
tance. I saw few or none of my friends 
the few days I was in town. Charles is 
in town, hard-worked at the Foreign 
Office ; I hope amidst all these changes 
something may turn up good for him. I 
think he is in better health than I have 
before seen him this winter. Walter is 
stationed at Dublin with his regiment, 
and, as the Colonel is absent on leave, 
there is no chance of his coming over this 



SCOTT LETTERS 153 

winter. I am almost ashamed to send a 
letter with no news, but none is here. Peel 
is expected to-day, or may have arrived 
last night, and then the fate of the Tory 
side will be decided ; should the Ultras 
join Sir Robert, he will do, but if a split 
takes place, all is over; he will not have 
six months' reign. 1 

I trust to hear you have a more promis- 
ing boarder than Miss Stuart, and shall be 
most glad to hear from you. Meantime I 
always am very affectionately yours, 

C. Sophia Lockhart. 



XLI 



24 Sussex Place, 
14//i April 1835. 



My dear Miss Millar, — Being so far 
from the spot, I feel it almost impossible 
to form an opinion as to what you should 
do about your house. I think, were I 

1 Sophia proved herself a prophetess, and capable of 
' intelligent anticipation.' The position of her husband as 
Editor of the Quarterly Review must have given her access 
to much political information. 



154 SCOTT LETTERS 

you, I should run no risk, unless you had 
the promise of more stationary and richer 
lodgers than Miss Stuart. I have been so 
long from Edinburgh, I feel I know no- 
body there, and hardly the ways, and fear 
I can be of no use, however willing. If 
you indeed could get some young people 
who were to be educated, it might answer, 
but I know of none at present wanting 
that accommodation. I believe Walter 
hopes to get leave for a month, and spend 
it at Abbotsford, but there is not the very 
least chance of our being there, or in Scot- 
land, this year. We shall only be absent 
from London the six weeks of little 
Walter's holidays, and these will be spent 
at the seaside, likely at Boulogne. The 
pain of seeing Abbotsford in its changed 
state would be so great, that I now fancy 
nothing would tempt me to visit it again, 
not a creature left in the neighbourhood 
I knew, except poor Margaret Ferguson, 
and the poor soul is not very sane. Our 
children are stronger this year than usual ; 
Walter, a great tall boy, will be nine years 



SCOTT LETTERS 155 

old this week : he is at school near us, but 
returns home every Saturday and Sunday. 
Charlotte also spends a few hours every 
day at a ladies' school close by, and both 
are doing as well as possible at their 
studies, and the best possible children. 
Charles is in the Foreign Office ; as usual 
very busy, but in better health this spring 
than the former ones, it being always a 
trying time of the year to him. It has 
been a very unhealthy winter ; fevers, small- 
pox, and all sorts of bad things raging, and 
nobody escaping Influenza. The Skenes 
are at Leamington for the health of their 
second daughter, who now is going to get 
well. I shall be glad to hear what you 
determine to do, and remain, dear Miss 
Millar, very affectionately yours, 

C. Sophia Lockhart. 

XLII 

My dear Miss Millar, — I write to you 
only a few lines to assure you I shall, 
should I hear of anything that I think 



156 SCOTT LETTERS 

would suit you here, let you know, but I 
fear I am not likely. The fashion is here 
so decidedly to send girls to schools when- 
ever they cease to be quite children ; and 
there is a good reason for it in London. 
Residents' children are so much better in 
the neighbourhood of town than in town 
itself, and families (I speak generally of 
those I know) employ, whilst children are 
young, a daily governess, which would 
never suit you in any respect, and, unless 
a certain bargain were made, would be a 
great risk. I can only again say, should I 
hear of anything likely, I shall let you 
know. Our plans are quite undecided for 
the summer, but I think we shall a month 
hence go to the seaside, where unknown. 
Lockhart, I am sorry to say, has had a bad 
attack of Lumbago, which has made him 
look thin and worn, but a little sea air, or, 
what is better for him, his going abroad 
for a month and leaving me and the 
children by the seaside in this neighbour- 
hood, will, I trust, quite set him up. The 
children are quite well — Walter at school 



SCOTT LETTERS 157 

and Charlotte going to a ladies' school 
across the street for a few hours a day. 
Walter only comes home Saturday, and 
remains until Sunday evening at home. 
Charles has been unwell, but this very 
cold weather is death to rheumatic people, 
and he has been better this season than 
he has ever been before in England. 
Walter is in Ireland, and I hardly think 
will be in Scotland this year. Let me 
hear from you should you close with any- 
thing that will suit you. Our address 
here will find us wherever we go, and 
believe me to remain yours very sincerely, 

C. Sophia Lockhart. 

24 Sussex Place, Regent's Park, 
1st June 1835. 



XLIII 

24 Sussex Place, Regent's Park, 
30th March 1836. 

My dear Miss Millar, — I take this 
private opportunity of writing you a few 
lines to express my pleasure at receiving 



158 SCOTT LETTERS 

your letter that you were fairly domiciled 
at Charleton. I had a long letter from 
Miss Adam on the subject, and feel sure 
you cannot fail to be comfortable with any 
relation of such good people. With regard 
to our being in Scotland this summer, it is 
likely, and I am determined, if we do, to 
pay a visit to Blair Adam, so shall, I hope, 
be able to see you. Our children are well 
in health, and have got over winter without 
hardly a cold, and, partial though I must 
be, 1 think you will be much pleased with 
them in all respects. Walter is very tall, 
all his curls cut off, which is distressing ; 
but, in spite of having lost the beauty of 
childhood, and not attained that of boy- 
hood, he is a boy no one can overlook, 
and every day, more and more reminds 
me of my father. He is getting well on 
at school, and, if spared to us, will never 
have cost an anxiety, except for health, 
for a more honourable high-spirited child 
never lived. Both have this character, 
and I am sure you would be delighted 
with them. Walter I expect to-day from 



SCOTT LETTERS 159 

school for Easter week, and we are all very 
happy. Charles has suffered very much 
this winter from violent inflammation in 
his eyes, but is better, and returned to 
his work at the Foreign Office. He thinks 
himself better now in health than before 
the attack, but it has been long and very 
severe. Walter is with his regiment in 
Ireland. There is a report that they will 
be ordered to India next year ; perhaps it 
would be the best thing that could happen 
to either of my brothers, but it would be 
a sad parting. And now, dear Miss 
Millar, I must not lose my opportunity 
of sending you these few lines, and con- 
clude in haste, remaining very sincerely 

yours, 

C. Sophia Lockhart. 



XLIV 

63 Grande Rue, Boulogne-sur-Mer, 
1th August 1836. 

My dear Miss Millar, — Your letter 
was forwarded to me here, where we have 



160 SCOTT LETTERS 

been a month, and I believe shall remain 
till the middle or end of October. Walter 
was so ill in London, a sort of influenza 
followed by low fever, that the Dr. 
ordered us to the seaside without losing a 
day, and we liked this place so much last 
year that we determined to return, the 
short distance (only twelve hours' sail from 
London) being a very great inducement. 
It has had the desired effect, for Walter 
gets stronger every day, and swims in the 
sea ; in short, one would not believe he 
had been ill. Charlotte also thrives, and 
we all feel much stronger of the sea- 
bathing. I am very sorry to hear you are 
again in want of a situation, and think 
Mrs. Thomson should have mentioned, be- 
fore she engaged you, her probable plan on 
Miss Thomson's recovery. I am quite out 
of the way here of hearing of anything, 
not knowing anybody, but you may depend 
upon my writing to you, should anything 
by chance turn up I think would suit you. 
The weather here was cold and unsettled 
for a fortnight, but is now quite beautiful, 



SCOTT LETTERS 161 

and so warm. I hear that my brother 
Walter and his wife are to be at Abbots- 
ford upon the 20th of this month, to remain 
a month. He wishes us all much to join 
him there, but Charles has had his holidays, 
and will get no farther leave, and I being 
here makes it out of the question. It may 
be Mr. Lockhart may go down for a few 
days, as he has some business, but that 
will only be if he can spare the time. At 
any time, if you address to me Sussex 
Place, it will be forwarded, and most truly 
happy shall I be to hear you have heard 
of anything comfortable. With all good 
wishes, believe me to remain very affection- 
ately yours, 

C. Sophia Lockhart. 

XLV 

London, 
May 15, 1837. 

Dear Miss Millar, — I know how very 
sincerely you will sympathise with me 
when I tell you that your friend Sophia 
continues, as she has been for more than 

L 



162 SCOTT LETTERS 

two months past, in a very dangerous state. 
Indeed there is, I fear, but the most 
slender chance of her recovery. My only 
comfort at present is that she does not 
suffer much pain, but all through this long 
illness nothing could have been more com- 
plete than her sweetness, and patience, 
and thankfulness. 

I received a little while ago your very 
welcome transcripts of Sir Walter's letters 
to yourself, and let me say that it would 
afford me a great tho' melancholy satis- 
faction to possess similar copies of Sophia's 
early letters, of which you speak so 
highly. 1 

Be assured that, should anything likely 
to suit your views come under my notice, 
I shall not fail, for her sake and for your 
own, to do my best for your service. And 
believe me ever very truly yours, 

J. G. Lockhart. 



1 It is certain, in my opinion, that some at least of the 
letters in this collection were transcribed, and the copies 
sent to Lockhart, and used by him when he wrote the Life. 
Verbal coincidences are sufficient proof that they were part 
of his materials. 



SCOTT LETTERS 163 

XLVI 

Sussex Place, London, 
May 17, 1837. 

Dear Miss Millar, — I grieve to inform 
you that we have lost your old friend and 
pupil, my sister Sophia, who died this morn- 
ing at 3 o'clock, after an illness of 3 months. 

I send this to Mr. Cadell, trusting that 
he knows your address. I am always very 
truly yours, Charles Scott. 

XLVII » 

Leeds Barracks, 
December 18, 1837. 

Dear Miss Millar, — I got your letter 
this morning, and have written to Lady 
Scott, who is at Mr. Ritchie's, 68 Constitu- 
tion Street, Leith, mentioning your wishes, 
and should she hear of anything likely to 
suit you, she will not fail to acquaint you. 
I had the great pleasure of spending nearly 

1 On the last few letters published here little or no 
annotation has been made. They are either too sacred for 
comment, or written about matters of simple family history 
which need no explanation. The annotator feels — to com- 
pare small things with great, small, that is, in authorship, 
though not in subject— as Thackeray felt when he finished 
The Newcomes, and, as if he were parting from friends, said 
good-bye to Laura and Arthur, and Etbel and Clive. 



164 SCOTT LETTERS 

three months at Abbotsford, the first long 
period of leave that I have been able to 
spend there, since I left it in 1818, and, 
although living only in a corner of it, still 
it was a great luxury to be there at all. 
There is a great deal of excitement and 
bad feeling through all this Riding about 
the New Poor Laws, which keep us in 
constant hot water, as, whenever a meeting 
is held, troops are moved up, and concen- 
trated, and this takes place very frequently ; 
so whether I shall be able to fulfil my 
intentions of being in Edinburgh early 
next month for a little or not, is still very 
doubtful ; should I, however, succeed in 
getting away, I shall not fail in calling 
upon you. The most warlike sound of 
'Pots off' strikes upon my ear, and warns 
me to conclude, if I wish to come in for 
fish and soup. I remain therefore in haste 
yours truly, Walter Scott. 



Printed by T. and A. Constable, Printers to His Majesty 
at the Edinburgh University Press 






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